Home Buying Plan

How to Buy a Home in Missouri

If you're looking for an affordable place to live with great barbecue and hospitality, Missouri is a great option. The state ranks highly in terms of affordability and cost of living, making it a great choice for those on a budget. However, the competitive housing market can make it difficult to find a home.

Figure Out Your Finances

Your budget is the first and most important step in buying ahome. You'll need to take a close look at your financial situation and calculateyour credit score and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. It's also important to familiarize yourself with all the expenses associated with purchasing a home in Missouri.

By taking the time to do your homework upfront, you'll be ina much better position to find the perfect home for you and your family. So,let's get started!

Check Your Credit Score

If you're thinking of buying a house, the first step is to check your credit score. This number is crucial for calculating what kind of house you’ll be able to afford. To secure a conventional mortgage loan, you’ll typically need a credit score of 620 or higher.

If your credit score is below 620, it might be a good idea to consider holding off on buying a house until you’ve raised your credit. However, buying a house with less-than-ideal credit is not impossible.

These organizations will sometimes offer mortgage loansto customers with low credit:

If you have bad credit and are thinking of buying a house, talk to one of these organizations to see if you might be eligible for a loan.

Calculate Your Debt-to-income (Dti) Ratio

To calculate your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), add up all your recurring monthly expenses and divide them by your monthly income before taxes.
Payments that count towards your DTI include:

  • Rent or house payments
  • Car payments
  • Credit card payments
  • Student loan payments
  • Alimony or child support

Ideally, you’ll get a result that is 0.36 (meaning your DTIis 36%) or lower. The higher your DTI is, the more difficult it will be for you to secure a mortgage. If your DTI is above 0.56 (56%), it is unlikely that you’ll be able to purchase a house in Missouri.

Determine Your Down Payment

If you're looking to buy a home, one of the most important factors in determining whether you'll be able to get a mortgage is your downpayment. A conventional mortgage typically requires a down payment of at least 20%.

If you can't afford a 20% down payment, you may be able to purchase mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance protects a lender from financial loss if you default on your loan and can lower your required downpayment.

You can also consider seeking a mortgage loan fromalternative lenders.

These organizations will sometimes offer mortgages forlower down payments:

  • FHA loan: A mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration that allows for a down payment as low as 3.5%.
  • VA loan: A mortgage loan available to eligible veterans that allows for 100% financing.
  • USDA loan: A mortgage loan available to eligible homebuyers in rural areas that allows for 100% financing.

Prepare For Closing Costs and Other Fees

When purchasing a home, it's important to be aware of the various closing costs that may be involved. In Missouri, these costs can range from 0.52% to 2-5% of the total value of the home.

Some of the common closing cost items include a credit report fee, home inspection fee, home appraisal fee, mortgage origination fee, and earnest money paid towards your down payment.

Additionally, you may also have to pay for mortgage insurance, homeowner's insurance, and property taxes.

By being aware of all the potential closing costs ahead of time, you can better budget for your new home purchase.

Look For Homeowner’s Insurance

As a homeowner, you will need to budget for annual insurance costs. In Missouri, the average coverage costs $1,914 per year, which is higher than in most other states. However, this cost is usually worth it to protect your home and belongings in case of an accident or disaster.

Most mortgage lenders require some level of homeowners insurance, so be sure to check the terms of your loan before shopping around for a policy. Even if you own your home outright, it is still a good idea to have coverage in place. This will help you avoid financial hardship if something unexpected happens.

Get Pre-approved For a Mortgage

Before you can begin shopping for a house, it's important to know exactly how much you can afford to spend. The best way to do this is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you a hard dollar amount to work with when negotiating with real estate agents.

Getting pre-approval for a mortgage is like applying for any loan. You'll need to choose a mortgage lender and provide them with your Social Security Number. You'll also need to supply all required information, including banking information. Once you've done this, the lender will evaluate your finances and give you a pre-approval letter. This letter will outline the terms of the loan and the maximum amount you're approved for.

Preapproval for a mortgage is not binding, but it's a good idea to get it before you start shopping for a house. This way, you'll know exactly how much you can afford to spend, and you'll be in a better position to negotiate with sellers.

How to Pick The Right Mortgage In Missouri

Mortgages can be a complex financial product, so it's important to choose one that works for you. The two main variables you'll want to consider are the mortgage term and the mortgage rate. The term refers to how long the mortgage will last and how many payments you'll make before it is paid off. Most mortgages have terms of either 30 or 15 years.

The rate refers to the size of each payment (how much you'll be charged each month). The term and the rate are inversely correlated, meaning if one number goes up, the other will go down. A longer-term will mean a lower rate, and a shorter term will mean a higher rate. Longer mortgage terms may seem attractive at first, but keep in mind that you'll be making payments for a longer period.

Think about your financial goals and choose the mortgage term and rate that will help you achieve them.

Look For a House

Now that you've been pre-approved for a mortgage, it's time to start shopping for your new home!
Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Start by evaluating your needs and wants. What kind of home are you looking for? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? What kind of features are you hoping for? Once you have a good idea of what you're looking for, you can start narrowing down your search.
  • Look at homes in a variety of price ranges. It's easy to get caught up in looking at homes that are outside your price range, but remember that you'll be the one making the monthly payments. Stick to homes which fit comfortably within your budget.
  • Work with a real estate agent. A good agent will be familiar with the local market and can help you find homes that meet your criteria. They can also provide valuable guidance during the negotiation process.
  • Be prepared to compromise. It's unlikely that you'll find a home that ticks every single one of your boxes, so be prepared to compromise on some things. For example, if you're looking for a four-bedroom home but can't find anything in your price range, consider settling for a three-bedroom home instead.
  • Take your time. Don't rush into anything! Buying a home is a big decision, so make sure you're taking the time to find the right one for you.

With these tips in mind, you're sure to find the perfect home for you and your family!

Pick Your City or Neighborhood

When you are looking for a place to live, it is important to do your research and make sure you are finding the best possible option for you. This means considering multiple factors, such as the community, cost of living, weather, and any other amenities that are important to you.

It can be helpful to make a list of qualities you are looking for in a house or neighborhood so that you can more easily compare your options. Once you have compiled your list, rank the items in order of importance to help narrow down your choices.

No matter what your budget is, it is important to take the time to find the perfect place for you.

Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market

When you're looking to buy a new house, it's important to first figure out whether you're in a buyer's market or a seller's market. This will give you an idea of who has the advantage in the situation.

In a buyer's market, there are more homes for sale than people who are looking to buy. This gives the buyer an advantage. In a seller's market, more people are looking to buy homes than there are houses on the market. This gives the seller an advantage.

If you're not sure which type of market your new house is in, here are some quick tricks for figuring it out. Do houses in the area sell quickly or do they stay on the market for a while? If they sell quickly, you're probably in a seller's market. Another good indicator is to look at the prices of houses in the area. Are they going up or down? If they're going up, that means there's more demand than supply, and you're likely in a seller's market.

Knowing whether you're in a buyer's market or a seller'smarket will help you understand your position and what to expect when negotiating with the other party. With this information, you can be sure to get the best deal possible on your new home.

Find a Real Estate Agent

If you're thinking about purchasing a home, you may be considering hiring a real estate agent. This can be a great decision, as the right agent can save you time and money in negotiations. However, it's important to choose an agent who knows the area well and communicates effectively.

When you're ready to start looking for a home, your real estate agent will be a valuable resource. They can help you find properties that meet your needs and budget, and they'll provide expert advice throughout the negotiation process. Ultimately, their goal is to help you get the best deal possible on your new home.

To find a good real estate agent, start by asking friends or family members for recommendations. Once you have a few names, interview each agent to get a sense of their experience and personality. Ask them questions about the homes they've sold in the past and pay attention to how well they communicate with you.

Once you've found an agent you're comfortable working with, it's important to stay in close communication. Make sure you're clear about your budget and what you're looking for in a home. If your agent is unable to find properties that meet your criteria, don't be afraid to ask for help from other sources. Ultimately, you want to make sure you're working with someone who has your best interests at heart.

Make an Offer

Now that you've found your dream home, it's time to make an offer! If you're working with a real estate agent, they will help you calculate the best offer price. Once your offer is accepted, you'll be one step closer to moving into your new home!

Why Choose Priscilla Ashford As Your Real Estate Agent

Traversing the real estate world can be challenging. My local market expertise, strong negotiation skills, and committment to come thru for my clients makes me an asset you'll want on your side. Aside from that, navigating home buying and selling can be overwhelming. I want you to have a good experience, every time. Here are a few highlights of how I can help you:

If you have a home to sell, I can help determine the best asking price. I'll always be transparent when it comes to how I price your home to sell.

Buying a home and not sure where to start? I am experienced in all aspects of buying your first home. I will guide you along the way.

Have a home to sell while you are looking for a home? My team can manage all aspects of both transactions so you can focus on the house hunt and move.

Buying or selling an investment property? I have lots of experience in that arena.

realtor st joseph mo
Professional Real Estate Agent and Services

Real Estate Done Right. What it means to Me...

Professionally, I am not afraid of a challenge, in fact, I thrive on them. I consider myself to be a problem solver. I learn new things with each and every deal I close and I strive to continually hone my skills. Knowing that no two people or transactions are the same, I personalize the experience for each of my clients.

Communicate with our clients

Buying or selling a home is typically one of a person's largest transactions. I understand you probably want to know what's going on. I proactively update our clients to keep your stress levels low.

Provide professional guidance

A real estate mistake can be costly. I am not only licensed to sell real estate I am continually improving my skills so my clients can count on me to advise them properly.

Leverage competitive technology

I invest in top real estate technology to ensure I can sell your home fast and at the best price by exposing it to buyers looking for a home right now.

Negotiate to win for our clients

Let's maximize your ability to purchase at the best price and terms. I have exceptional negotiation skills and I can help you win.

We are so grateful for the kind words and reviews

What our Clients say...

"Priscilla is a wonderful realtor. My husband and I moved to the St Joseph area from out of town, so we were unfamiliar with the St Joseph area. Priscilla was professional and knowledgeable."

Rachel R.

"Priscilla was awesome she gives her honest opinions, made sure everything was on schedule. She’s a true rockstar!"

Ked B.

"We absolutely loved working with Priscilla! She was so helpful, answered all of my one millions questions, and has the patience of Saint. She worked so hard at not only selling our old house but also assisting us in buying our new house that we love!"

Courtney O.

"Ms. Priscilla stuck with us through the whole process of finding our new home even when we were ready to throw in the towel."

Michael S.

"Priscilla is very knowledgeable and professional. Will continue to rely on her expertise moving forward on other projects."

Zachary D.

"Priscilla is an outstanding realtor! From the moment I reached out to her, she has been professional, thorough, and diligent in her work. She has assisted me and has closed several deals for me. I truly value her opinion on every transaction which is why we’ve established a long standing relationship. I consider her a multi talented agent that works continuously for a seamless closing! I am grateful for her expertise, work ethic, and friendship!"

Miguel R.