Whether you have a giant amount of student debt or not, it is important to know there are specific programs and specialized real estate agents that can help you through the home buying process. I personally have been through this when my wife finished residency at Georgetown University and we were looking to make the move to Huntsville, Alabama. I have created this program because we struggled to know what our options were in terms of obtaining a loan and buying a house.
The important thing to know is I have been through this personally. I remember the stress of moving to a new city, starting a new job, finding a home, and figuring out how to balance our new financial status. A new doctor has a lot going on from obtaining disability and malpractice insurance, learning a new hospital system, and creating a patient base. I am here to help take the stressor of financing your new home out of the equation.
As a first year doctor you are likely going to be in a large amount of debt but the right private banks will see your earning potential as a factor that outweighs the risk of giving you a home loan. This is where the terms “White Coat Loan”, “Doctor’s Loan” or “Physician’s Loan” come in to play. When moving to Huntsville I am confident that we can get you a very competitive rate and put you in a home and neighborhood (check out my neighborhood tours on Youtube) that you will love if you follow the steps provided below. The most important is understanding the specialized local lenders here in town understand that it is very hard to save for a down payment on a residents salary. In most cases they will not require a down payment and still offer you a very competitive rate.
1. Know Your Credit Score
It is important even for a future doctor to be aware of his or her credit score and history. You can begin working on this while you are in residency and understand that your credit score will still play a big role in your financial future moving forward. Sites such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame can help you get a picture of your credit score and financial history for free. These sites allow you to monitor your credit score, the number of recent credit inquiries, how many accounts you have and other important information that can help you get a better picture of your overall credit.
2. Find a Specialized Local Agent
There are a lot of important reasons to find a local agent who has helped residents with the transition before but the most important is because they can help you save money in the end with the right Doctor’s Loan. I personally have been through this transition with my wife and have helped a number of other doctors with the transition from residency to practicing in Huntsville and Madison. Hiring the right agent can help make the process of buying your first home seem relatively simple, which is very important for you during this huge transition. I promise if you ask most real estate agents that 99% of them have never worked with a resident and do not understand the Doctor’s loan process, it is very important that you find an agent that has done this before. I am here to help, please reach out to me today at [email protected] or 256-655-4946.
3. Connect with a Local Mortgage Lender
The next step to buying a home is getting pre-approved by a mortgage lender. One of the most common mortgage mistakes made when buying a house is not using a local mortgage lender. The main reason why it is important to use a local lender when needing a Doctor’s Loan is because they have an understanding of the local real estate market and the local buying process. Also, if any issues come up during the process they are easily accessible, because these types of loans for new doctors are fairly complicated. Having lived in Huntsville for over 13 years I have developed a relationship with many local lenders and I can steer you in the right direction. Only a handful of local lenders have special Doctor’s Loan or Physician Loan programs to help new doctors, so it is important that you are connected to the right ones. As a resident the specialized lenders understand that you may have not adequate savings for a down payment. In most cases they are willing to create a personalized loan for you based on your new job and your potential earnings. The lender that you use will be involved throughout the entire process, so it is critical that I get you in touch with a consultant who specializes in Doctors’s Loans.
4. Understanding the Local Market
Buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make, so it is very important that your realtor knows the local market in and out. In Huntsville and Madison I can help you with the different neighborhoods, school zones, how competitive a market is, and how much homes sell for in each area. A few of the things that you will need to know is
– Is it a buyers or sellers market?
– What is the absorption rate in the local market?
– What is the average price per square foot in a particular neighborhood
5. Begin Shopping Online For Homes
Once we have a better picture of your financial outlook and what you are looking for in a home we can then start zeroing in on particular houses online. While the internet has made it extremely easy to shop for homes, it also provides a lot of information that is unreliable and inaccurate. Some of the most popular sites are Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia, but it is important to remember that the information on these sites can be misleading. The best resource to utilize while shopping for homes is me…A Real Estate Agent. A top agent will be able to setup a search that is tied directly into their local MLS and it will give you listings as soon as they come on the market. I also have homes broken down by areas / neighborhoods on my website and that information is pulled from the local MLS.
Check out one of my favorite videos for searching in Huntsville.
6. Setup a time to Tour Houses
As your residency starts to wind down, the perfect time to tour homes is 2 to 3 months out. This time frame will give you the right amount of time to find a home and close on it because normally houses in this market close in 30-60 days. It also gives you a little wiggle room in case you are not able to find what you want on your first visit. I suggest that you set aside a weekend to come visit Huntsville and during that time I can help you get a feel for the city and neighborhoods so that you can figure out exactly where you want to be. Luckily Huntsville has a great local airport and I am happy to pick you up and tour the city. As an experienced buyers agent in Huntsville I will be able to point out potential issues within a home and neighborhood. This can be critical when buying a house and it is also very important for resell value.
7. Make an Offer on a House
Now that we have found the perfect Huntsville home, it is time to make an offer. Making an offer may seem simple on the surface but there are many decisions that need to be made. I can help guide you through this process and as a team we can make an educated decision based on a market analysis that I will provide.
8. Complete Mortgage Application
We have already found the perfect local lender for your Doctor Loan, now it is time to complete the formal application and provide the bank with everything they will need. You will need to provide documents such as bank statements, pay stubs, as well as tax returns. After the bank has everything they need we will work to lock in a great interest rate that will set you up for financial success for years to come.
9. Complete Home Inspection
I have multiple home inspectors that I work with on a daily basis and will set up a time as soon as possible for them to inspect your home thoroughly. It is very important to have a good inspector because they can identify issues or problems and save you a lot of money. From this inspection we will submit a Repair Request to the sellers which must be done before the closing.
10. Bank Appraisal
When you formally apply for the loan the bank will schedule an appraisal of the home. The appraisal provides them with security on their investment and ensures that the sales price that has been agreed to is fair for the current market.
11. Perform a Final Walk Through
The final walk through provides you the opportunity to make sure that all the repairs that were agreed upon from the inspection have been completed. I will keep you informed on how all repairs are moving along during the process and it is my goal to make sure everything has been done before you arrive in town. If something at the final walk through is not satisfactory then we will work to find a resolution before closing.
Closing day is finally here! As a new doctor you will have so much going on during this transition from residency to practice, but this will be a great day. The only thing you need to be prepared for is to sign quite a few documents that will finalize the purchase of your new house. Once all the documents have been signed you will receive the keys to your property and then the real fun begins…Moving in!
P.S. I Have contacts for movers, painters, pest control, lawn care etc…