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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Home Buying Process

The home Buying Process in St Louis

Purchasing a home in St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri may seem daunting. However, knowing what steps to take and having a great real estate team to assist you makes the process smoother, easier and can even make home buying a good experience. To make things easier we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to the home buying process.

1. Interview an agent.
A great place to start the home buying process is to find a reputable REALTOR or real estate team to assist you with your home purchase. One reason starting here is important is that an experienced REALTOR will be able to help you with all of the other steps in this process. This includes recommending other experienced servicers in the real estate industry such as lenders, inspectors, title companies and more. Not sure how to determine who is a good agent? Check out our article Interview Questions for Real Estate Agents.

2. Find a reputable lender and get pre-approved for a home loan.
Ask your REALTOR which mortgage loan officers that they have the best experiences working with. Also, ask any friends or family who have recently purchased a home about their experiences working with their lender. Then interview each lender about how they work, what their rates are (based on credit score) and any other vetting questions. Finally, choose the best one to meet your needs. This important part of the process can save you thousands of dollars, so be sure to check your options.

3. Determine the must-have features of your next home.
Do you require a 2-car garage, a fenced yard, main-floor laundry to reduce wear and tear on sore knees? Create a must-have list to ensure that none of these items are overlooked during your home search. Not sure what must-have items you need? Try our handy worksheet to help you determine the items you must have in order to purchase a home.

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4. Begin your home search.
Now that you are clear on exactly what your next home must have, use these requirements when searching for a home. Most home search portals, like the one at, allow you to choose these features when searching online. Be sure to choose your must-have features or you could find yourself looking at homes that aren’t a good fit for your lifestyle. Also, rely on your agent! REALTORS often know of homes that are about to hit the market or that are exempt from the local multiple listing service that will match your needs. This is another great advantage to getting the help of a REALTOR early in the home buying process.

Did you know that our online home search
is better than Zillow? Click here to lean more.

5. View homes for sale in person.
Seeing a home online versus seeing it in person are two completely different things. Ask your REALTOR to make appointments for you to view the homes you are interested in, in-person. NOTE: Don’t just call the number on the sign. The number on the sign in front of a home goes to the listing agent. The listing agent’s job is to look out for the interests of the sellers and make them the most money possible. This is just one reason why it is important to work with a buyer’s agent to represent your interests.

6. Make an offer.
Making an offer on a home can be a complicated decision. What price should you offer? Are there any competing offers that you are up against? This is a great time to lean on an experienced REATLOR. REALTORS are well versed in the legal documents used in home sale transactions. They can help you determine the best strategy for your offer as well as put together the Purchase and Sale Agreement contract. 

7. Get inspections completed.
Once your contract for a home has been accepted, it is time to more thoroughly vet the home for any issues. This is the time to bring in an inspector to take a closer look at the home’s major systems including heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical. Also major parts of the home’s structure will be inspected including the roof and foundation. If an inspector finds signs of insect presence or damage this is the opportunity to bring in termite inspectors. Another inspection you might choose to do in the St. Louis area is a radon inspection as certain parts of the city have been found to have radon.

8. Negotiate for your best possible outcome.
Once you know the results of your inspections you’ll be able to negotiate for any needed repairs based on the findings in the inspection report. This is another great time to rely on an experienced REALTOR who knows which items people ask for and receive most and how to best negotiate for these things.

9. Finalize financing, title and escrow.
Despite pre-approval, there are a few more steps to completing the mortgage loan process. Check out the process here. Homebuyers will also need to review the record of title on the home and find any discrepancies. A good title company will make sure that the title is free and clear of any leans. Finally, the escrow process ensures that all parts of the contract are complete and should be monitored by your REALTOR. 

10. The home closing.
At closing all documents are signed by both the buyers and sellers. Both parties will pay any settlement fees and the documents will be officially recorded. (Don’t worry; any fees will be outlined to you in a settlement statement that you will receive prior to closing.) At the end of closing, you’ll get the keys to your new home!

So who wants to go home shopping? The Boehmer Team offers many tools and all the advice you need to assist with the process. If you are thinking of buying a home in St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri, interview The Boehmer Team. You’ll get to know us better, can compare us to other local REALTORS and we can show you in person how we help create positive home buying experiences. Contact us today.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Home Financing Tips

Financing Tips for Homebuyers
The Boehmer Team has helped many homebuyers find the most trustworthy and dependable sources for financing a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri home purchase. We often get financing-related questions that our experience helps us answer. But we know to refer to mortgage industry experts to guarantee accuracy of information. Recently we interviewed one of our favorite mortgage experts, Jeff Griege of Paramount Mortgage, to get his expert tips for acquiring home financing at the best price. 

What is the very first step that homebuyers should take for getting financing for a home purchase?
Get in touch with a reliable local lender.  Also, listen to your real estate agent if they recommend someone.  They typically have a good relationship with a lender and the agent typically prefers to work with a lender they are familiar with.  

Do you recommend that people speak with more than one mortgage loan officer before financing a home?
I think that it is always best to get a second opinion.  Most lenders will have similar rates and fees but the level of service is what separates good loan officers from great ones.

Is there anything that homebuyers should NOT do while financing a home purchase?
Do not go out and obtain more debt while you are in the process of purchasing a new home.  This could jeopardize your approval!  DO communicate any material changes that could affect your approval (i.e. job changes) DO NOT hide things.  The more time a lender has to work on a problem the better chance the lender has to solve that problem.

Don't buy a car during the home financing process

Don’t make large purchases, like buying a new car, during the home financing process.

What impact do credit scores have on home mortgage financing? 
The higher the score the better your interest rate and cost of private mortgage insurance or PMI (if applicable) is going to be.  Both of these are credit score driven and you will get the best price on both of these if you have a FICO score above 760.  Please note that Credit Karma and other on line credit score companies do not give true FICO scores that mortgage lenders see on a credit report.

What is PMI and is PMI always required with less than 20% down?
PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance.  It insures the lender in case of default by the buyer.  PMI is always required when a down payment of less than 20% is used but there are ways to work around paying it monthly, therefore possibly saving the buyer money on a monthly basis

What is the most asked question you get from people trying to finance a home purchase?
How much can I afford and what are my monthly payments going to be?

Have you tried our mortgage payment calculator to estimate monthly payments on a new home? CLICK HERE to try it now.

If two people are purchasing a home together and one has good credit and one has bad credit, what do you recommend they do?
Try and do the mortgage loan on the person who has good credit and put the title of the property in both of their names.  That way the person with suspect credit has ownership in the property but their credit score does not affect the rate since they are not on the mortgage part of the transaction.  Title and Mortgage are two different things

You can buy a home with as little as three percent down

Can someone with good credit and strong income but not a lot of out-of-pocket money still buy a home?
Yes, you can buy a home with as little as a 3% down payment.

What piece of advice do you most often give to homebuyers looking to get a mortgage for a home purchase?
My advice is that everything happens for a reason and to try not to get too emotional through the process so that you are able to think clearly for your financial decisions. 

At The Boehmer Team, we understand that it can be difficult not to get emotions involved when making such a large purchase. We utilize years of experience facing all kinds of unique situations in real estate to coach our clients on anything that arises throughout the home buying process. With the help of great loan officers like Jeff Griege, we make sure our homebuyers have all the knowledge they need to make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families. Thinking of buying a home in St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri? Contact The Boehmer Team!