One question is asked more than any other while searching for real estate. Where do I start? And the second? Who do I talk to first, lender or real estate agent? Long story short, you can start right here.
Most home buyers search online for their REALTOR® in Northern Kentucky, the next best way to find one? Ask a friend. And as your friend, I can say, calling the number at the bottom of this post can get you in touch with a great REALTOR® immediately. But once you’ve done that shouldn’t you talk to a lender at some point? So many questions, I bet your head is spinning. But stick with me – you’re already on your way to home ownership in Northern Kentucky.
If I want to buy a home in Northern Kentucky who do I talk to first?
REALTORS® typically have a network of lenders they work with and vice versa. Some lenders work directly with brokerages, some REALTORS®/lenders just have a list of people they trust. It’s important you talk to both lender and REALTOR®, but you can do it at the same time. Either way, one will most likely connect you with the other. I always have a list of the strongest lenders in Northern Kentucky who know the local market and the grants offered locally and by the state.
Did you know that Covington offers down payment assistance in the form of a grant and if you find a home outside of the city limits the Kentucky Housing Corporation offers assistance as well? Some lenders (and REALTORS®, like me, see my Hero Next Door program) also have special incentives for professionals in certain industries, like teachers and first responders.
But why should I talk to a lender when I know my budget?
Here’s why. The Northern Kentucky real estate market is still very active right now, so it is very important to be able to slam that pre-approval letter down on the table with an offer. It gives you the upper hand and more power to win in a multiple offer situation. You can only get that from a lender.
Speaking with a lender also gives you a realistic look into just how much house you can afford. Online mortgage calculators work if you understand what they include. Many do not include taxes or homeowners insurance rates. That can add hundreds of dollars to your monthly payment. There’s nothing like finding the home of your dreams only to realize that the taxes put your payments way over budget. Talk about heartbreak. Get with a lender, get the real picture.
So I have a lender, they’ve got everything, now what?
While you’re working on getting a pre-approval, you can begin your home search. Websites like realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and homes.com are great places to start looking but at this point you should be connected with a REALTOR®, and if not, my contact information is all over this page, call me. I am throwing this shameless self promo in because this is where working with REALTORS®, like me become important. Armed with the RE/MAX app and our portal that gives buyers an immediate look at properties as they hit the market, you can have direct contact with your REALTOR® and get in to see the homes for sale in Northern Kentucky before they even show up on other home buying websites.
So here I go, I’m jumping into NKY real estate, with both feet.
Home buying is complex, and scary, but the real estate market in Northern Kentucky is still affordable and there are move-in ready homes available. Kenton, Boone, and Campbell county are great places to live if you’re looking to stay close to Cincinnati or CVG airport. If you’re not having fun, reevaluate who you’re working with, who is working for you, and if you’re really ready.
Remember there is no deadline for home ownership. And if you have any questions, I’m available 24/7 via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.