Nelson & Associates Realtors®… Call Today 608-438-5230 • Jon@jonnelson.com
Your Complete Guide to South Central Wisconsin Real Estate for Sale.
1. Know your credit score. We’ve all heard the (endless) advertisements for services that will give you your credit score for free or for a nominal fee, but here’s the scoop: your credit score can kill your chances of buying Madison real estate if it is in the dumps. So keep your score up, pay your bills on time, make sure there aren’t any errors in your credit report and take corrective action if there are. Most banks use your credit score to determine what kind of an interest rate you will qualify for when purchasing Madison real estate and many flat out won’t offer you a loan at any interest rate if you don’t meet their threshold score.
2. Where’s your down payment coming from? While the ideal down payment on Madison real estate is 20% of the purchase price (that let’s you avoid PMI or private mortgage insurance) 20% isn’t always in the cards. So, check out FHA financing, which only requires a 3.5% down payment or if you are qualified, a VA loan may not require any down payment, which can make buying Madison real estate a lot easier. Relatives are another source of down payment money, but be sure to check with your lender because some programs have a limit on how much of your down payment can be gifted.
3. Know your total costs: Even if you have already calculated how much you can afford to spend per month on your Madison real estate mortgage, remember that there are additional costs associated with buying a home like the down payment and closing costs. Ask your ABR to help you estimate your total costs.
4. Know what you can spend. Knowing ahead of time just how much you can reasonably afford to spend on Madison real estate or WI properties anywhere in the state given your other debt commitments and income is not a guessing game. It is pretty much an impersonal, mathematical formula that banks apply to determine just how much house you can afford. The good news is, banks will readily share this information with you and depending on how deeply they research your finances they will provide you with either a “pre-qualification” (based on what you are telling them) or a “pre-approval” (based on documentation you are providing them and they can check out.) Knowing ahead of time how much Madison real estate you can afford will save you a lot of time and potential disappointment.
5. Know what you want and need. Now that you know how much you can spend on Madison real estate it is time to determine your list of needs and wants. For instance, you may want four bedrooms but you may only need three. Satisfying your needs is “potatoes” and satisfying wants is “gravy.” We all like gravy when it comes to Madison real estate but if you’re hungry, those potatoes will look pretty good gravy or not.
6. Know your Location, Location, Location! It may sound cliché, but these really are the three most important rules of Madison real estate… and real estate in general. Do a little research and know your neighborhoods. Check out the schools, drive around and see how well other homes are maintained and ask your buyer agent to give you an idea of what area Madison real estate has and is selling for. Being an informed buyer can preserve the value of your home investment.
7. Go the Buyer Agent route: Purchasing Madison real estate can be a complicated matter and no one likes last-minute, unpleasant surprises. Your Madison real estate agent, especially if they are an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) as well as a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) can guide you through the entire home purchase process.
Yes, they charge a commission but the good news is that the seller (via the listing broker) nearly always pays the commission for you. That’s right: you will get the expert advice of a well qualified buyer agent who is working for you and the seller will pick up the tab. Sweet!
Nelson & Associates Can Help You Make your Home Ownership Dream a Reality.
As principal broker and owner of Nelson & Associates REALTORS, I am a Certified Residential Specialist and a Madison ABR. I would urge any home buyer, first-time or not, to seek the services of an Accredited Buyer Representative to assist them with the purchase of Madison real estate or WI properties anywhere in the state. Having an ABR on your side in today’s Madison real estate market is the smart way to go. Contact Me