Buying a Home? Read This First
You’re going to buy a place of your own. Fantastic! However, in all the excitement, it’s easy to get carried away and overlook important steps that will make your home-buying journey easier and more rewarding. Considering that a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, here are a few tips to help.
Get Your Finances in Order
Determine how much cash (liquid assets) you can apply toward a down payment. Carefully calculate your monthly budget; this will help you determine the price range (and mortgage payment) you can reasonably afford. Using a mortgage calculator can help you determine the impact your mortgage will have on your overall monthly budget.
A free mortgage pre-qualification will help you understand how much you can expect to borrow from us. This helps narrow your home search to properties within your price range. It also can give sellers more confidence in your purchase offer.
Work With a Realtor
Now that you've been pre-qualified, it’s a smart idea to have a pro in your corner, looking out for your interests. Look for a realtor who will guide you through the entire process, helping you find the right home and make a purchase offer.
Find the Right House
You’ll also want to determine and prioritize your wish list: desired size of the home and property, house style, features and amenities, location and neighborhood, commute, school system and proximity to stores, entertainment and recreation. You may be pre-approved to buy a $150,000 house, but it might make more sense to buy a $120,000 house that checks off most of your boxes and gives you a little bit of financial breathing room. As you search for and visit properties, refer to your wish list and make notes about each home.
Make a Smart Offer
You can’t predict the offer amount a seller will accept. But you’ll be better prepared to arrive at a number that’s acceptable to both parties if you know the length of time the house has been on the market and the sale price of similar properties in the area. Finally, be prepared to negotiate; this is a normal part of the process.
Get an Inspection
One of the most important steps of all. You want to know what you’re buying! An inspection by a licensed professional will reveal major and minor problems with the house: structural, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and more. Purchasing a home can be fraught with anxiety or an empowering life event. So do your research, arm yourself with knowledge and work with trusted professionals. You’ll be much more likely to move into the home of your dreams. Happy house hunting—and house buying!