The purchase of a home is like a journey that can be tough to navigate, but a nearly stress-free trek is possible. The home buying tips that follow can help light the way. The advice also aims to smooth any bumps in the road and equip you to avoid other obstacles altogether.
1-Prepare Your Finances
As you look ahead to buying a home, do all you can to increase your financial health. The goal is to show that you are a low risk for a mortgage loan. Tips from the experts include paying down debt and making on-time payments. Also, to avert a common mistake, avoid acquiring new debt far in advance of your mortgage loan application. In addition, begin saving for the down payment on your home as early as possible.
2-Work with a Wisely Chosen Real Estate Agent
Home buying tips invariably recommend working with a real estate agent. There are multiple reasons for that! A buyer’s agent works on your behalf. Never forget that the seller’s agent is not representing your best interests but, rather, the seller’s. Ask potential agents their strategies for helping you find a home. You’re looking for an agent dedicated to scouring the market for homes that fit your interests and guiding your through negotiations and closing.
3-Avoid Getting Emotionally Attached to a Particular Home
There can be plenty of excitement around buying a new home but keep expectations in check. Many variables can determine who ends up buying a specific house. Home markets tend to be competitive right now. So, each home might have multiple offers, though only one buyer is chosen. Sellers change their minds–sometimes even taking their home off the market. A property inspection may reveal a slew of problems too expensive for buyers to overcome. Be prepared to confidently keep looking until you find a home you make your own.
4-Maintain Perspective on Your Budget
You may have been approved for a $275,000 mortgage, but that does not mean you should buy a home valued at that amount. Total costs of buying and owning a home are part of your mortgage approval amount. Closing costs, taxes, home repairs, insurance, and the cost of monthly bills should be considered as you determine the price range for the home you buy. To ensure that you have some negotiation room in a competitive market, look at homes that are below your price limit.
5-Figure Out Your “Must-Have” Features
What you really want and what real estate agents are trying to help you get is a home with the top features you can’t do without. Your list of must-haves should be true to your actual desires. If the quality of the schools is the top priority, you may need to compromise on other features. Remember that many things can be changed to fit your preferences, including bathrooms, the kitchen, bedrooms, and the characteristics of the backyard.
6-Take Advantage of Online 3D Home Tours
The more homes you look at, the better. You can save a lot on gas, time, and energy by watching online home tours. These tours allow you to do a virtual home walkthrough at your convenience. Video tours provide details you can’t catch by looking only at photographs. Of course, you can’t determine the overall condition of the property or detect such things as bad odors, but 3D home tours can help narrow down the list of homes to visit.
7-Hire a Home Inspector
It’s not mandatory, but you should definitely hire a professional home inspector to give the home you like a thorough checkup before you buy. An inspector has a trained eye that could help you avoid expensive home repairs. The return on investment (ROI) of hiring a home inspector often far exceeds the cost. For example, a home inspector might notice foundation or plumbing issues or problems with the drywall or siding that have been patched to hide major flaws. Buyers can go back and renegotiate repairs, saving thousands. Meanwhile, the cost to hire an inspector has traditionally been only about $400.
Another key home buying tip is to understand and employ a thorough negotiation process. Ideally, the real estate agent you choose will be skilled in this area. Negotiation kicks in when your initial offer is not accepted by the seller or after the home inspector you hire finds major issues that need repair. Among the negotiation strategies is to ask for credit against the sale price so that you can handle repairs yourself. Keep in mind that in a sellers’ market, negotiating powers can be limited.
It’s especially helpful when you aren’t going through the home buying process alone. Take special care when hiring a real estate agent because their knowledge, experience, and pro home buying tips can make all the difference in your overall experience and the final outcome.