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A Buyer's Guide to Missouri Real Estate

Jul 4, 2008
Buying Missouri real estate, like buying real estate anywhere, can be intimidating, confusing and frustrating. There are so many processes to go through, so many steps along the way, and so many ways a sale can go wrong. Of course, the more you know, the easier a home sale will be for you. And proper planning will help you to focus on what you want out of your Mississippi real estate purchase.

Furthermore, planning will help you anticipate and prepare for documentation requests from brokers, lawyers, lenders and a host of other professionals. Here are a few helpful tips to guide you through the process of buying Missouri real estate.

First, figure out how much you can afford. What you can afford to spend on your Missouri real estate investment depends on several factors including your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, the money you have available for a down payment and the interest rate you qualify for.

There are home loan calculators available online that can give you a rough idea of your financial framework, but as interest rates fluctuate and different lending institutions have different guidelines, it is best to visit a lender to find out for sure. A financial advisor can help you figure out how to manage and pay off your debt, and start saving for that all important down payment.

Second, get to know your rights. You'll want to do some research and familiarize yourself with the details of home buying laws, but basically it is illegal for you to be denied the purchase of a property on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, or disability. Don't be an uninformed victim of housing discrimination. As an American you have the right to purchase any property you can pay for, anywhere in the US. Report any housing discrimination to the authorities immediately.

Third, shop for a loan. Save money on your Missouri real estate purchase by doing your homework. Ask recent home buyers about their loan experience, and if they are comfortable with sharing the information, the interest rate on their mortgage. Talk to several lenders, compare costs and interest rates, and negotiate if you can to get a better deal. Consider getting pre-approved for a loan, this eliminates the possibility of falling through on your closing if your lender rejects your loan.

Fourth, learn about home buying programs. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loan programs to qualified borrowers with the option of lower down payments. These are a good option for first-time Missouri real estate buyers.

Fifth, shop for a home. You can do this yourself or hire a Buyers Agent. If you are a first-time Missouri real estate buyer, it is advisable to hire an agent to help you negotiate selling price, and your agent may be aware of Missouri real estate options in neighborhoods you do not know of. You are likely to get a better deal and find the right home if you have a professional working for you.

If you choose a home in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association (HOA), be sure to request a copy of the HOA packet, so you can review before closing. Many HOAs have rules about what colors you can paint your home, the varieties of trees you can plant in your yard and the number of cars you can park in front of the house. Know what you're getting yourself into.

Sixth, make an offer. Discuss the price negotiation process with your Missouri real estate agent. If the seller counters your offer, you will need to negotiate until you both agree to the terms of the sale.
Seventh, get a home inspection. Make your offer contingent on the results of a home inspection. A thorough inspection of any potential Missouri real estate purchases will tell you about the condition of the home, and can help you avoid buying a home that needs major repairs or updates to meet safety codes.
Eighth, shop for homeowners insurance. Most lenders require that you have homeowners insurance for your Missouri real estate. Be sure to shop around to find the best deals.

Ninth, sign papers. You are finally ready to go to "settlement" or "closing." Be sure to read everything before you sign so there aren't any hidden fees or nasty surprises.

Using this guide should help smooth out the process of buying Missouri real estate for you. There are numerous resources available online, and a Missouri real estate agent can answer questions for you every step of the way.
About the Author
Buying Missouri real estate (http://remax-mississippi.com/) can be a snap with a good real estate agent and this home buyer's guide. The author Art Gib is a freelance writer.
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