There are a lot of perfect pairs. Cheese and wine, chocolate and chilis, doughnuts and cider, avocado and toast. In February and March, there’s another happy duo to add to the list: happy hours and first-time homebuyer education.
If you have been thinking about heading down the road of home ownership, don’t go it alone. Drop into one (or all three) of these happy hour events in February and March and enjoy a tasty beverage, snacks and get answers to those nagging questions keeping you up at night.
Our Savvy + Co. Real Estate agents are knowledgeable and ready to meet you wherever you are in the “Am I ready to own a home?” process.
Here’s where to find first-time home buyer pairing perfection:
Tuesday, Feb. 19: First-time Home Buyer Happy Hour @ Heist Brewery, 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, March 14: First-time Home Buyer Happy Hour @ Wooden Robot, 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, March 23: First-time Home Buying Morning Seminar @ Amelie’s French Bakery, 9-11 a.m.
Not sure where to start? We asked our happy hour hosts the top six questions they field from first-time home buyers. Sound familiar?
Q. Should I buy instead of rent?
A: Home looks different to each individual. Some prefer the character of an older home. Others might be looking for a mid-rise condo in Uptown with amenities. Growing families may want newer construction so they have more time with the kids. Regardless of what home looks like to you, there are a few things you’ll need to have in order to start the process. Good credit, savings for a down-payment and a pre-qualification letter from a lender so you know absolutely what you can afford. The process can be daunting for some, which is why having a local expert Realtor is imperative. — Allison Goodman, Savvy + Co. Real Estate. Talk with Allison at Wooden Robot on March 14 from 6-8 p.m.
Q: What does getting pre-qualified versus pre-approval mean?
A: There are many similarities and differences between pre-qualified and pre-approved. Pre-qualification is usually the first step in the mortgage process. With pre-qualification the lender will want information including income, collateral, debts, and credit score. The mortgage lender will use this information to give you an estimate of what you can qualify for. Mortgage pre-qualification is often self-reported and does not require documentation. Mortgage pre-approval is very similar, but it usually requires documentation and verification of your income, assets, and debts. And it will often require a credit check, which will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report. — Lara Bucci, Savvy + Co. Real Estate. Talk with Lara at Wooden Robot on March 14 from 6-8 p.m.
Q: How much do I need for a downpayment?
A: Lenders typically like 20 percent as a down-payment—which seems really scary. Twenty percent of a $250,000 house is $50,000! Can you imagine writing a check that big at once? Keep in mind, there are loan programs that may allow you to put as low as 3 percent down, and some programs have zero percent down. This is a great reason to work with an experienced agent who can help point you in the right direction. — Samara Brown, Savvy + Co. Real Estate. Talk with Samara at Heist Brewery on Feb. 19, 6-8 p.m.
Q. What happens during the closing process?
A: You, your agent and the closing team will sit down to sign all the papers. Your agent will help you every step of the way so you know what paperwork needs to be submitted to whom and by what date. Your lender releases the funds, and your deed is recorded. Once this happens, you have the keys! Congratulations! —Danielle Potter, Savvy + Co. Real Estate. Talk with Danielle at Wooden Robot on March 14 from 6-8 p.m.
Q: Do I really need a real estate agent?
A: I definitely believe having someone to help you navigate the home buying experience is necessary—especially if this is your first time around. Realtors have access to many resources all designed to help you, the client, have the best experience possible for this major life decision. — Samara Brown
Q. How does my FICO score affect my ability to buy?
A: Basically, the higher your FICO score, the lower your interest rate. Your FICO score is a measure of your credit risk for a lending or other institution, measured from 300 to 850. If you are worried about your score, this is another great reason to start talking with a Realtor now. They can help you make a plan to improve your score and set a timeline for your homeownership goals. — Robbie Tickel, Savvy + Co. Real Estate. Talk with Robbie at Heist Brewery on Feb. 19, 6-8 p.m.
Make February and March the months you take another step toward becoming a homeowner. Throw in personable agents, cold beer and delicious snacks, and you are already a winner.
Want to know more about Savvy + Co. Real Estate? Click here for more information.