First, have everyone that will be involved in the purchase get a credit check. Of course you will need to do this, but so will everyone that may be on the mortgage. Your spouse or significant other, your parents (if they will be co-signing), etc. You can obtain a free credit report at Credit Karma.com. No credit card is needed for their service, and your will be able to get an overview of your credit situation.
Second, get together with a lender to begin work on getting a pre-approval letter. It's heartbreaking to get find your 'dream home,' only to find you are unable to qualify for a loan to purchase it. Additionally, a Pre-Approval letter (not to be confused with a Pre-Qualification letter), is a great tool to help you when you are in negotiations for your home. A Pre-Approval let's the seller know that you are able to purchase and close on your home in a timely manner, and if the seller has multiple offers, this may just give you the edge you need.
At Coldwell Banker Traditions, we work closely with the loan representative from Atlantic Bay Mortgage. They offer a full portfolio of home mortgages, and can work with you to get that Pre-Approval letter in hand before you begin your home search.
Now the fun begins! Time to search for homes available in the area you plan to move to. There are alot of great resources on the Internet now; Trulia, Zillow, Homefinder and many more. But keep in mind that many of these sites are in the business of selling their website. Some tend to be slow about removing homes for sale from their websites, so it may appear they have homes available that other sites don't have. Again, this can lead to diappointment.
To avoid spending your time looking at homes that may no longer be available, we recommend using websites that are run by real estate professionals, like Realtor.com (the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®), ColdwellBanker.com, or our own Coldwell Banker Traditions website. When you are a real estate professional, you are bound by a code of ethics that non-real estate sites need not adhere to. Our site covers four Multiple Listing Service areas: Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, Gloucester and the Middle Peninsula and Richmond Virginia
Finally, it's time to bring in the professionals. And Coldwell Banker Traditions has quite a few. With four different locations across Southeastern Virginia, and over 30 real estate consultants, you can find just the agent to team up with to make your search for a new home successful.
We have REALTORS® in Williamsburg, in the rural community of New Kent County, and our newest location in Newport News, in the upscale City Center.
Our team of agents can help you pinpoint the right neighborhood for your needs; which schools are in the area, and how they rank. Where the closest shopping is, local transportation, not to mention the best restaurants, radio stations, night spots, cultural centers and other inside information that only the locals know.