All too often we receive calls from physicians who have found the perfect home yet their financing strategy has not been vetted. Putting the cart before the horse happens to many of us mostly because we do not understand the process. Don’t worry, Physician Relocation Specialists can still help you.
Case in point: two physicians contacted us today to help find financing after they had written offers for new homes, one for a $2,000,000 purchase in CT and the other purchasing a $700,000 home in IL. These clients will be put in touch with a banker who can help them meet their goals – free of charge.
We have worked with many physicians (and their spouses) who become emotionally tied to a new home either they cannot find financing for or cannot afford. In hundreds of cases, we have helped doctors find the financing solution they need. Occasionally though, we run across clients who’s expectations need to be reset – but that’s the exception.
The following is the process we recommend when purchasing a new home:
A relocation coordinator at Physician Relocation Specialists will introduce you to a full time, professional REALTOR® who can help you through the entire process of buying a home, starting with the mortgage and continuing right through closing – and beyond. He or she can help you shop for the best interest rate and terms and, if you wish, suggest mortgage lenders.
Get Preapproved for a Loan
The higher your FICO score, more loan programs become available to you like the doctor loan. The REALTORS® recommended by Physician Relocation Specialists are able to help you understand the benefits of the different loan programs available. The lenders we recommend will give you the best deal.
Determine Your Price Range and Area(s) in Which You’re Interested
By now you should have a good idea of how much home you can afford. This helps you narrow down your home search. You should also begin researching the neighborhoods in which you might want to live. Your recommended REALTOR® can help.
Decide Which Amenities and Features You Must Have – and Which Ones Would Be Nice but not Necessary
How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want? Would you prefer a newer home or an older one with established landscaping? Are hardwood floors a must? Is an updated kitchen important to you? Walk-in closets? Which features would you be willing to give up if you find the otherwise-perfect home?
Begin Testing the Market
Your recommended REALTOR® will provide you with listings that meet your criteria as well as neighborhood data. Identify properties that seem to be fits for you, take an afternoon and go on a driving tour. See what’s available in your price range and explore neighborhoods.
With Your Agent, Begin Seriously Looking at Homes
Your agent can add to the list of homes you’ve already identified – including ones that have just come on the market. Look at homes with a critical eye – does the floor plan work for you, is the property in good condition, would it be right for your lifestyle? In short, can you imagine yourself and your family living there?
Take notes at each home you visit. What do you like and not like? Narrow down your choices; re-visit homes in which you’re interested. See them at different times of the day.
Make an Offer
When you’ve identified the home you want to buy, be prepared to help your agent prepare a written offer quickly. Your agent will be familiar with market values and will help you arrive at a price that gives your offer the best chance of being accepted.
At this stage, try not to become emotionally attached to a home. Your offer may not be accepted for any number of reasons. Have backup homes in mind. Be prepared to negotiate through your agent with the sellers.
Once Your Offer Is Accepted:
- You’ll be asked to submit an earnest money deposit that usually isn’t refundable.
- Begin making moving arrangements (select a mover, obtain change-of-address cards, inform friends and relatives).
- Have the property professionally inspected.
- If necessary, request repairs.
- Obtain homeowner’s insurance.
- Contact utilities (phone, water, power, etc.).
- A few days before closing, stage a walk-through.
- Obtain a cashier’s check for the down payment and closing costs.
- Make sure the terms and conditions of the loan statement are correct.
- Carefully read everything before you sign.
ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME!