Buying a home is a big step for most people, which is completely understandable. It will likely be the largest purchase you ever make. Because there is so much that goes into purchasing a home, it makes sense to try and prepare yourself as best as you can for the experience. The better prepared you are, the smoother the process will be and the better you will be able to weather any unexpected things that come your way. Here are a few of our keys points to keep in mind when you are purchasing a new home.
1.Get your finances in order
The one is kind of a given, making sure your finances are in order before making a large purchase is something everyone should probably know to do. If you are like most buyers, you will be approaching lenders and you can expect those lenders to want to know pretty much everything about you – proof that lending to you is going to be a smart business decision.
Your mortgage, and how much your pay in interest, will hinge on your credit score. It is extremely important to boost your score as much as you possibly can if you want to save thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of dollars on your mortgage.
2. Find the perfect real estate agent
There is definitely no law that requires you to get a real estate agent, but if you want to get the best possible deal for your home, and find a home that really works a realtor may be very helpful. Getting a realtor may cause a little work on your end but it’s worth it. Make sure to interview at least 3 or 4 real estate agents to find who you feel most comfortable with and trust. Some smart questions to ask a potential real estate agent might be:
- How many homes have you sold within the past few years?
- Do you have any recent references – clients I could possibly speak with?
- How close was the negotiated sale price compared to the seller’s asking price for the last home you sold?
These questions will hopefully help you decide who you want to work with and why.
3. Decide what you MUST have in your new home (i.e. bedrooms, big backyard, pool, etc.)
Can you wait on what you want? Determining whether you want a fixer-upper or a new home is a very important part of the experience. Are you willing to change paint or carpet on your time schedule and your own expense? This could change a lot of things. Some people are looking for a home that is picture perfect and others want a fixer-upper to make their own. Neither one is right or wrong, it just depends on preference.
4. Respond Quickly
Fast communication is important during the home buying process. You’ll need to be in constant communication with your real estate agent and you lender if you want to keep things moving. For one, your real estate agent may need to put in a bid or respond to a counter offer on the fly, or you’ll risk losing a house you really want. On the lender side, your loan officer may need additional documentation, and the longer it takes for you to respond and produce that information, the longer you’ll prolong your closing date. So during the process, keep you phone by your side and constantly check your email.
5. Have Clear Goals
Knowing what you want before you start shopping is important if you want to save time and be satisfied with your purchase. Take some time to write down all the things you want out of a home and bring this list to your agent. This will ensure that you are getting exactly what you want. He or she can go over the list with you while keeping your budget in mind, and help you clarify what things are the most important. Buying a home is often about making compromises. When you know what is most important, you can look for homes that have those qualities. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a home that has everything you’re looking for.
We hope these were helpful tips and that your home-buying experience will be as easy and stress-free as ever. Just remember that during the process is it important to stay on top of everything and be ready for new things coming your way.