Tips For Home Buyers
Beginning your Search
- The internet will flood you with information. It’s best to have a quick 15-20 minute conversation with your real estate agent about your wants, and needs in a new home. He can quickly tailor a search and generate a listings report just for you.
- It’s essential to have your finance plan secured before you begin house hunting. In our exciting market, houses are bought and sold overnight! Even if you write an offer, a seller may move on to the next buyer who has a stronger pre-approval letter for financing.
- The rule of thumb is that you should be able to afford a mortgage three times your income. Don’t rely on this rule alone, there are many other factors that mortgage companies consider before pre-approving an amount. A 15-20 minute phone call will get the ball rolling, and ensure you are looking in the right price range for you.
- Remember to budget in money for closing costs for the loan. It’s typically 1-1/2 to 2 percent of the purchase price, but ask your lender for the amount of cash you should be saving up for the closing. Nobody likes surprises the day before closing!
- When you are looking at a potential home, you must understand that no house is going to be perfect. Talk to your real estate agent about remodeling contractors to get exactly what you want. And remember- location, location, location!
- When it comes to investing, the best place to invest is in an up-and- coming area. Your real estate agent will be able to direct you to neighborhoods with a positive future, where you can still get a good deal.
- Feelings often take over the first time you go through a house, but the second visit allows time to do a thorough inspection led by your head, not your heart. Remember to look past the current owners personal belongings. Look at structure, space, and layout.
- It is especially important to have a home inspection if you are looking to buy an aging or older house. Inspectors look past the visible surface to the infrastructure, inspecting plumbing and looking for faulty fixtures and waste lines. They check electrical systems to make sure they aren’t a safety hazard. They also look at possible structural problems like the foundation, walls and floor joists.
Talk to your home inspector and ask questions!
Making an Offer
- When you’ve found your dream home, remember that it’s the market that determines the value of a house. Sit down with your real estate agent to review what similar homes in the area have sold for, how long ago the sale was and what amenities they have. The value of a house has nothing to do with what you can afford.
- When making an offer, you want to go as low as possible without insulting the sellers. Listen to advice from your real estate agent that will do the negotiating on your behalf.
- When a renovated house is priced low, it is a good indication that the owners are looking for a bidding war — they want to get as much money as possible out of the sale. Again- rely on the expertise of your real estate agent in these situations.
Contract to Closing
- Communication is key to a successful home purchase. You should be in touch with your real estate team (agent, lender, inspectors, etc…) on nearly a daily basis to get you through the complicated steps of buying a home.
- Know your deadlines. There are deadlines for financing, inspections, surveys,and title work. Be sure you don’t miss a deadline and lose the house!
- Put away the credit cards and don’t apply for any new debt. Your lender will pull your credit score 24-48 hours before closing to be sure everything is the same as the time of pre-approval.
- Focus on the end game and don’t get buried in the details. Let your team of experts guide you through the contract.