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Tips for Buying a Home in Rochester Minnesota

Congratulations! So you've decided to buy a house in Rochester Minnesota. This will be the most emotional decision you will ever make and I am here to guide you through the whole process.

THE FIRST STEPS

The first step to buying a home is to secure financing. Let's talk for a minute about your credit rating (CR). How is it? What is it? Always know what your CR is. It is wise to check it 2-3 times per year as your CR is one of the first things to be affected by identity theft.

If you have blemishes on your CR from the past-even bankruptcy-many lenders will overlook these problems if the past 2 years shows good credit on your part.

When you talk to a lender, keep in mind that there are all kinds of mortgages available with different rates and features. A mortgage consultant will help you navigate through the options. I recommend talking to Kathy Quandt or Vickie Phillips and Edina Realty Mortgage to get you started. Both are located in our Edina Realty office building and are happy to help.

Unlike pre-qualification, which is simply a quick estimate of your borrowing potential, pre-approval is a formal approval of a specific mortgage amount-typically the maximum you can borrow. You can also receive a good faith estimate of your closing expenses. I always recommend to my clients to NOT look for a home at the maximum amount they can spend. Don't spend the most you are approved for, spend what you are comfortable with. Many times, those are two very different numbers!

After you're pre-approved you will know exactly how much house you can afford and you may have the edge over other buyers should you get into a multiple offer situation.

Now about that down payment: Many buyers are discouraged because they think they need to have 25% or more to put down towards the purchase of their next home. Then again, many think you can get mortgage with no money down. Both of these scenarios are uncommon. Although there are a variety of financing programs available, most require you to put at least 5-10% down, but rarely would you need 25%.

VIEWING PROPERTIES

Now that you have your financing secured we are ready for the fun part: looking at regional Rochester Minnesota properties! When we meet I will ask you a number of questions and have you fill out a information sheet that will tell me about your wants and needs. We will then talk about different styles of homes in all sizes, conditions and styles.

You may be wondering how many homes you should plan to view before making your decision. That's up to you, and will depend on the neighborhood, the market and your specific requirements. Most people see 5-8 homes before they decide, however I have sold a home on the first viewing and on the other end I have clients that have looked at 30! That is quite unusual.

I'm happy to show you any house on the market and now I want to talk to you about what to expect BEFORE we even see our first house. I always say that the first rule of real estate is slip on shoes. We'll be in and out of a number of homes and it is much more comfortable. Next, we need to budget our time. Plan on spending up to 30 minutes seeing each property. I also recommend having a notebook and pen handy to jot down any notes you may have. I will also be taking notes.

During the viewing there are some things to look for. Pay attention to the home's curb appeal, floor plan and overall amenities. Take notes, ask questions and make comments to help me understand your needs and what you like or don't like about the home.

Finally, relax and have fun. Finding a home in Rochester Minnesota doesn't have to be stressful.