Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a real estate aficionado, these tips will save you time and headaches when it comes to the home buying process.
1. Have a Plan
It’s helpful to start the real estate process with an eye on the future. If you’re planning to move again within the next five years, you might want to purchase a home requiring a minimal investment for repairs and upkeep. If you’re setting down deeper roots, then feel free to look at properties with an eye towards renovation and other improvements, as you’ll have more time to complete them.
2. Research is Key
Make sure to use effective online property search tools to keep you informed of the current market by researching other homes in the area in your price range. Consult with your realtor and have them run a comparative market analysis (CMA) to ensure that the house supports the asking price. A good agent can help educate you in this aspect of the home buying process.
3. Professional Advice
No one knows your local market better than a professional real estate advisor. Having an agent that you feel comfortable with and is looking out for your best interests is one of the smartest moves you can make when you are buying a home.
4. Understanding your Credit Rating
In today’s market, it is important to understand your credit rating to better understand what home you can afford. To find out your maximum loan amount, ask your real estate adviser for a referral to a mortgage broker who can get you prequalified.
5. Don’t Forget the Little Things
Give your realtor as much information about your wishes and requirements as possible so they can better understand exactly what you’re looking for in a home. These small details can include local amenities, nearby transportation, schools, shopping, etc.
6. Get the House Inspected
This is one of the most overlooked and important aspects of buying a new home. When making an offer on a home, it is a good idea to make your offer contingent on the home inspection conducted by an independent authorized inspector. This will not only ensure that you are getting the best value, but will prevent you from buying a house that will cost you far more in repairs down the road. If you’re satisfied with the results of the inspection, then your offer can proceed. If you aren’t, you may want to negotiate, asking the seller to pay for repairs or lower the asking price.
7. Take Photos
In today’s world, everybody has a phone with a camera on them at most times. Put it to use and take photos of the homes that interest you, so you can go back and view the photos later to refresh your memory.
8. Have Properties Emailed Directly to You
Nowadays, it is so simple to have properties that match your criteria automatically e-mailed to you as soon as they hit the market. Consult with your local realtor to get signed up for customized eProperty notices and get new properties delivered right to your inbox.
9. The Importance of Schools
Buying a home in a district with good schools is a good idea, whether you have children or not. This will add to the resale value of your home and make it easier to sell down the road.
10. Have Fun
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, or looking for your dream house, shopping for a home should be an enjoyable experience. Rely on your real estate professional’s expertise to take away some of the stress and just have fun.