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Pre-approval will help you better understand how much you can afford.

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Steps to Take If You Want to Buy a Home on Martha’s Vineyard

If you’re thinking about buying a home on the island, there are some important things you can do to keep the process moving forward. From saving for your down payment (including the Land Bank fee) to pre-approval for a mortgage, you can work confidently toward homeownership today.

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1. Learn about the process

The process of buying a home on the Vineyard is not one to enter lightly. You need to decide on key things like financing if you'll be getting a loan, how much you can afford to spend and how long you plan to hold onto the house it if it's an investment. You may also be contemplating renting the house weekly for part or all of the summer. Certain locations on the Island command higher rental rates.

Keep in mind, when you start, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage with a local lender. You can work with an off Island bank, but often this does not result in the smoothest transaction. Lenders will evaluate several factors connected to your financial track record, one of which is your credit history. They’ll want to see how well you’ve been able to minimize past debts, so make sure your credit is in good shape. For those seeking a primary residence, According to ConsumerReports.org:

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“Financial planners recommend limiting the amount you spend on housing to 25 percent of your monthly budget.”

Pre-approval will help you better understand how much you can afford so you can confidently make a strong offer and close the deal. Today’s low inventory means homebuyers need every advantage they can get. If you were pre-approved prior to the beginning of the health crisis, you may need to go through the process again, as lending standards have evolved in recent months.

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2. SAVE FOR YOUR DOWN PAYMENT, the land bank fee & CLOSING COSTS

In addition to knowing how much you can afford on a monthly mortgage payment, understanding how much you’ll need for a down payment, Land Bank fee, and closing costs is another critical step. Buyers on Martha's Vineyard are required to pay 2% of the purchase price to the MV Land Bank. There is an exemption for first time home buyers, so be sure to ask me about that if this applies to you.

What’s a Down Payment? According to Bankrate:

“A home down payment is simply the part of a home’s purchase price that you pay up front and does not come from a mortgage lender via a loan.”

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WHAT ARE CLOSING COSTS? TRULIA SAYS:

When you close on a home, a number of fees are due. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, attorney fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more."

If you’re concerned about saving for these items, start small and be consistent. A little bit each month goes a long way. Jumpstart your savings by automatically adding a portion of your monthly paycheck into a separate savings account or house fund. 

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Before you know it, you’ll have enough in your savings if you’re disciplined and thoughtful about your process.

Bottom Line

If buying a home on Martha's Vineyard is on your wish list, identify what you can prioritize now to help you get there. Let’s connect to determine the steps you should take to start the process today.

Download Your FREE Home Buyer’s Guide

Are you considering a purchase on the Island? Would you like to keep up to date with the Vineyard Real Estate Market? My detailed guide outlines the steps for a home purchase on Martha's Vineyard and provides contact information for lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, insurance companies & more. I also create a monthly e-newsletter with new listings, market updates and Vineyard news and would be happy to share this with you as well.

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Jen works with sellers, buyers, and investors and is known for her quality service and stellar reputation, ensuring great experiences for every client she represents.

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