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5 Steps to Buying Your First Home in Western Massachusetts

The Pioneer Valley is a wonderful place to live! With mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, great restaurants, nightlight, theatre, museums, and shopping, the towns in Western Massachusetts have New England charm with big city activities.  If you’re thinking about buying a home in Franklin or Hampshire County, a little preparation will go a long way.

1. First and foremost, know your credit score. There is only one official free credit report website according to mass.gov, and that is www.annualcreditreport.com.

How much can you afford? To understand your finances, the importance of credit, how much you’ll need for a down payment and closing costs, mortgage rates, and the Western Massachusetts housing market, check out this website: http://markethttp://myhome.freddiemac.com/buy/what-you-can-afford.html

2. Shop for a loan. Look to commercial banks, mortgage companies, and/or credit unions. This website, http://www.hud.gov/buying/booklet.pdf, will help you shop, compare, and negotiate a mortgage that’s right for you.

If you are a first time home buyer, look into the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Your down payment may be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. Get more information here: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/buying/loans

3. Shop for a home. Coldwell Banker is here to help! We’ve been helping people find the home of their dreams for 110 years. Start with our website: www.coldwellbankerUMR.com and search for the home of your dreams, and a Realtor in your community.

When you’re ready to make an offer, your Coldwell Banker Realtor will advise you on negotiation strategies and be there to provide objective advice that protects your best interest in the transaction. Our Realtors work with lenders, home sellers, and other real estate agents every day and will use their knowledge and experience to assist you.

4. After your offer is accepted, get a home inspection, http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=92564-cn.pdf and shop for homeowners insurance. Lenders typically require proof of homeowner’s insurance. 

5. The Closing. Your Coldwell Banker Realtor will be there for you every step of the way. Knowing the process before the closing might make you feel a little less nervous. After all, this could be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has resources to help:  http://www.consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home/process/close/.

 

Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.