Matching the Process to Your Needs: An Interview with Brenda Evans


Purchasing a home can be a tricky process--there are a lot of pieces that need to be put in place for it to be successful. Millennial homebuyers grew up during the 2008 housing crisis, so it’s understandable that many young people are wary of making a decades-long commitment.

But this doesn’t mean that buying a home is an unattainable goal: there are resources available to educate first-time homebuyers and mitigate fears. Understanding each piece of the process--and, more importantly, finding the right people to help you do that--is a huge step towards purchasing with peace of mind.

“Take your time--and go in with your eyes open,” says Brenda Evans, homeownership administrator at LHC. “Make sure that the people you are working on your behalf because you are employing them to take care of a vital aspect of your life.”

We sat down with Evans to discuss selecting the right people to guide you through a comprehensive homebuying process and how to know when the time is right for you to buy a home.

What Steps Should Someone Take When Selecting a Realtor?

A lot of times when we’re starting the purchase process, we see a name on a sign in front of a house we like, so we just start there. But it’s very important that you choose a Realtor that you can trust. Look for someone focused on your best interest--and that includes an ability and a willingness to walk you through the process.

The best way to identify a good Realtor is to get recommendations from friends and family who have had positive experiences with someone. Personal referrals are a great starting point, but even then don’t hesitate to ask the Realtor questions before committing. Make sure that their expertise matches your needs.

How Do You Know When the Market is Right?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this. Deciding when--and where--to put down roots depends on your lifestyle needs and your local market. For example, you may be looking for a great school district now, but planning to sell down the road to fund retirement. A lot of factors come into play when you're looking for not just a home--it may also be future equity.

So these are things you need to address with your Realtor. When you’re looking at a home, don’t be afraid to ask for multiple showings--it’s important to experience the neighborhood at different points in the day so that you can be sure it fits your specific needs.

When It Comes to Loans--Is It Okay to Shop Around?

Absolutely--always compare mortgage interest rates and loan estimates among lenders. Just like with a Realtor, try to get lender recommendations from friends and family who have had good experiences with the loan process. LHC also has great resources for choosing a lender. And if you find a great Realtor, they may have their own preferred lender--but again, make sure they’re willing to explain each step of the process to you.

A mortgage is a huge commitment--you don’t want to enter into one without getting all of your questions answered. Fully understand the offered interest rate--sometimes it seems like you’re getting a great deal, but there may be hidden fees embedded in the process. The bottom line is, ask questions--and make sure they answer.

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