Simplify the Home Buying Process with Vutech & Ruff

Buyer’s Resources

Buying a home is often the most significant investment you will make in your lifetime. It should come as no surprise then that finding the perfect home does not happen in a single day. Home buying involves several steps and is more complicated than other purchases. When on the hunt to purchase your new home, you’ll need to determine a list of preferences, like preferred neighborhoods, specific features in your new home, and financial parameters, to gain a clearer sense of what you’re searching for. Once you have these options decided, you need to decide which of these factors you absolutely cannot live without in your new home. As a buyer, you’re looking for the best deal at a price you can afford in an area you love – and while we do our best to accommodate all your must-haves, sometimes compromises need to be made. By deciding what your dealbreakers are ahead of time, you can focus on homes closely aligned to your dream abode. No matter what type of dwelling you are in the market for, the realtors at Vutech | Ruff, Cutler Real Estate will work diligently to have you crossing the threshold to your new life as quickly as possible!

What You Should Remember as a First-Time Homebuyer

As a first-time homebuyer,

  1. Choose One Agent to Represent You. While it might seem like bouncing from agent to agent can help you score a better deal, you want to have buyer representation to build a trusting relationship with a realtor who will put your needs first as they guide you through the home buying process – every step of the way.
  2. Buyer Representation Will Not Cost You a Thing. A common misconception that first-time homebuyers believe is that you, the first-time homebuyer, pay for the buyers’ agent. In Ohio, however, the buyers’ agent commission is paid for by the seller(s). Sellers typically pay between 5-6 percent commission; part of the commission goes to the listing agent, and part of the commission goes to the selling/buyers agent.
  3. Get Prequalified. Receiving prequalification before looking at homes allows you to understand better your price range, your down payment, and your ability to upgrade once you select a home. If you are not already prequalified, your realtor will suggest lenders that will be well-suited to your financial needs. Some lenders also give buyers discounts or specialty rates if you purchase in an “up and coming” area; these incentives can be substantial and should be considered.
  4. Get Educated. Is one area more likely to be tax abated than another? Is one area more likely to have bidding wars? While these questions are ones your agent can help you answer, having a base understanding of the current market is essential before submitting your first offer. To start your educational process, we suggest having your realtor set up a search for the areas you’re interested in relocating to. If you can, attend open houses and drive around your favorite neighborhoods to get a better feeling for the area(s) you want to target in your search.
  5. Sales Comparables. To help guide you on market value and potential appraisal hurdles, always have your realtor prepare sales comparables (“comps”) for you before making your offer on the house of your choice.

What Does Our Buyer Resource Have to Offer?

Our home buyer resources will help and guide you throughout the home-buying process. Meet Marilyn Vutech and Jeff Ruff, along with our team of licensed agents and full-time administrative team who are focused on each and every detail of the process, from day one of listing your home to a successful closing. We devote ourselves to ensuring our clients find the home of their dreams through a variety of means. We offer the following advice in the Buyer Resource, including but not limited to:

  1. Learn when to start the process of home buying. Set a budget based on a review of your finances to determine a down payment that you’ll be able to afford and start researching communities in and around Columbus, OH, that you’re interested in to find a good fit.
  2. How to know what to look for in a home. This one is personal! Take note of home features you would like to have and those you absolutely need. When you start your search with an idea of what you’re looking for, you’ll save time by prioritizing which homes most closely align with your ideal.
  3. Why you should use a realtor. Realtors are here to help guide you through the financial and legal complexities of the home-buying process. Our realtors are local to Columbus, OH, and the Central Ohio area, making them experts at providing insights to neighborhoods and communities.
  4. Where and how to get a loan. Typically, mortgage loans are available through credit unions, private mortgage companies, banks, and government state lenders. While you can browse for lenders, your realtor can provide valuable connections to lenders. To find out about programs that might be available to you, it’s a good idea to call local government agencies.
  5. What if I have bad credit or no down payment? If you have no down payment or bad credit, you can still purchase a new home through a federal mortgage or local home buying assistance program. Homebuyers are helped through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with insured loans. If the buyer defaults, the lender still receives the money owed to them. There are many assistance programs available to homebuyers through the Department of Housing and Urban Development as well. There are a number of new home buyer resources available.
  6. Upfront payment cost on finding a suitable home. Upfront, homebuyers can expect to pay earnest money, down payment, and closing costs. Earnest money is a “security deposit” paid to the seller when you submit your offer to prove that you’re serious. Down payments are a percentage of the cost of your home and are dependent on your loan. Typically, closing costs are low for buyers; they represent the paperwork and lender fees associated with purchasing a new home.
  7. Other costs. Other expenses that you may encounter when purchasing your new home can include HOA or condo fees, utilities, and property taxes, which are usually lumped in with your mortgage payment. For additional fees related to your home, community, or neighborhood, be sure to ask your realtor.

Still have questions? Download our Buyer Resource guide, a digital resource that provides you with a bounty of helpful home buying resources and knowledge that you can check on your own at any time.