Ok, you are ready to buy a house. Knowing where to start and what to do is very important to having fun house-hunting!
The right agent
Simplify your home search from the start by getting the right real estate agent!
Get loan pre-approval
Know your personal financial plan first. It is important to determine exactly how much home you can afford, while at the same time be able to save for any unexpected emergencies
Narrow your search
Know where you want to live and what your “must-haves” are. You can also make a secondary “wish list” that is a list of “it would be nice if, but I don’t really need” items and use the two lists as a check-list to review each potential home. You can also narrow your search by deciding: what city do you want to buy a house in, on what side of town do you want to own a home, what school do you want to live near, how many bedrooms, baths, etc. By narrowing your search and deciding ahead of time what is important to you, you will save a lot of time and headache and it is less likely that you will have buyers remorse after you buy a home.
Learn about the area / neighborhood
The more you know about the area you are thinking about purchasing a home in, the more likely that you will be happy with your purchase decision after you sign on the dotted line. You can perform local housing market research
Always get a home inspection
Although the seller is legally required to tell you about any issues with the property and any known problems, a home inspection may find the unknown issues with the home. The great news is, when the issues are known, it brings everyone back to the negotiating table to negotiate how the issues will or will not be repaired. Your real estate agent may be able to provide a list of qualified local home inspection professionals to choose from.
Ask a lot of questions
Not only before making an offer but before you move in. Each potential homebuyer should have a list of the questions, that are the most important to them, to ask a home-seller. If you do not have a list of questions or you don’t know where to start, here are several questions to get your list started:
- Why is the seller moving?
- How are the neighbors/neighborhood?
- What are the average utility costs?
- What is the property really worth in today’s market?
- What is the home’s history?
- How old is the roof?
- Are there any known issues with the foundation?
- What appliances will stay with the house and how old are they?
- Is there anything I forgot to ask or is there anything else you can tell me about the house?
- Where is the fuse box or attic access?
- How do I work the [fill in the blank] system?
Shopping for a new home can be like a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs. If you love a house but dislike the appliances, know that you can change them out at a later date, turn negatives into positives and if all else fails, go back and look at your list of “must haves”. The more you can keep a smile on your face and build memories during the home buying experience, the more likely you will be able to look back on these days and smile.
What is your favorite part of looking for a new home? Is it walking through many open houses, dreaming of decorating a new space, imagining how your family may grow or learning about a new area and meeting new people?
Share your comments below and read through other’s experiences and put a positive spin on the home buying process!