Boston condos for sale: The first steps in the buying process
In this episode, we discuss buying a condo for the first time, questions to ask and things to consider before making the purchase.
When it comes to making an investment, a Boston condo is a go-to choice. They offer stability and security, as well as the opportunity for appreciation. Additionally, condos can be a more affordable option than buying a Boston townhouse, or even renting out a Boston apartment in today’s market.
There’s no doubt that buying one of the premium condos in Beacon Hill or Back Bay is a big investment. But when you break it down, taking out a mortgage to finance your purchase may be the smartest decision you can make. In the following article, we’ll take a look at 3 steps of the Boston condo home mortgage process, followed by the first steps in the buying process. Keep reading!
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR HOME MORTGAGE LIKE?
The mortgage loan process can seem daunting, especially if you’re a first–time home buyer. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. Your real estate agent will be your guide throughout the process, but it still helps to know what’s coming at each stage. Be prepared to ask the right questions and make good decisions.
1. Before viewing Boston condos for sale first be pre-approved
The first step in the buying process and in obtaining a mortgage loan is to be pre-approved. That way, you’ll know your budget and what type of home you can afford.
To get pre-approved, you’ll need to provide some financial information to your lender, including:
- Your income
- Your debts
- Your assets
- Your credit score
You may also be asked for proof of employment, such as pay stubs, and information about your monthly expenses. Once you have all this information together, it’s time to meet with a lender.
You can start the process online, but it’s always best to finish it up in person. That way, you can ask any questions that come up and get a clear idea of what you’ll need to do to get approved for a mortgage.
Once you have been pre-approved, your lender will give you a letter of pre-approval, which shows that you’re approved for a certain amount of money.
This doesn’t mean you have to take out that exact amount of money – it just means that you’re approved for a loan up to that amount.
You may want to take out a smaller loan so that you have less interest to pay back over the life of the loan, or you may want to take out a larger loan if you plan on staying in your home for a long time.
2. The Boston condo appraisal process
Your lender will order an appraisal of the home you want to buy. This is a document that estimates the value of the home. The appraiser will visit the home and take into account things like the age of the home, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has, and recent sales of comparable homes in the area.
Once the appraisal is complete, your lender will have a better idea of how much money they are willing to lend you. Keep in mind that the appraised value of the home is not always what you end up paying for it. You may be able to negotiate a lower price with the seller if the appraised value is higher than what they are asking for the home.
3. The Boston condo closing process
Once you have found a home and the seller has accepted your offer, it’s time for the closing process. This is when you will finalize the purchase of the home and get the keys.
In order to close on the home, you will need to do the following:
- Finalize your loan paperwork
- Get homeowners insurance
- Pay closing costs, which can include things like attorney fees, title insurance, and property taxes
- Sign all of the documents related to the sale of the home
- Receive your keys!
It’s important to remember that not everything in the closing process will happen at once. You may need to complete some steps before others. For example, you won’t be able to close on the home until your lender has approved the loan. But as long as you know what to expect, the process shouldn’t be too daunting.
I’ve recently had a conversation from potential Boston condo buyers who just wasn’t sure about the process of making an offer on a condo. His last Realtor never explained the process and seemed very confused. Since this is probably the largest purchase you will ever make, I’ve put together some simple points to keep in mind before, during, and after you make an offer on a Boston condo for sale.
Things to do before you starting shopping for a Boston Condo for Sale
- Speak with a mortgage lender & get pre-approved for a mortgage. Knowing how much you can afford on a Boston condo for sale is key.
- Find a Realtor you are comfortable working with and who understands what you are looking to purchase.
- Figure out your time frame on when you are looking to move. Keep in mind it takes anywhere from 30-90 days to close on a condo once you go under contract.
- Familiarize yourself with downtown Boston real estate online. You can get a good idea of what different price ranges are buying you in different areas.
- Walk the neighborhoods you are interested in to see if you picture yourself living there.
You found the Boston condo you want to buy – The Next Step
- Immediately have your Realtor find out if the condo you are interested in has any offers on it. You can still present an offer on a Boston condo for sale which has an offer on it.
- Try to find out when the seller wants to close on their property. This can help you in negotiations.
- Have your agent research comparable sales for you. I recommend not only looking at Sold comps, but also ones that are Under Contract.
- Based on how the comparable sales look, write an offer in contract form. All offers in Massachusetts have to be presented in writing so presenting your offer in contract form shows the seller you are serious buyer.
- Present a copy of a check for $1,000+. This is your “good faith” deposit and again shows the seller you are serious about buying their property.
- Finally present your offer with a copy of your mortgage pre-approval letter. This gives the seller comfort in knowing the buyer is qualified to purchase their condo.
Once the offer is presented, the seller’s agent will present the offer to the seller and get a response. Every negotiation is different so there is no step by step outline that I can provide about how a property negotiation always goes, but the desired result is that the buyer and seller come to a meeting of the minds and an offer is accepted.
Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2022
Click to View Google Reviews