Buying a home can be a rewarding life experience, as well as a great investment. But having a successful purchase requires some education and research. For first time homebuyers especially, you'll save yourself a lot of frustration--and maybe even money--if you start with a few simple steps.
The first step is being honest about your needs versus your wants. For example, you may dream of having a big backyard for gardening. But if you have a busy schedule, a low-maintenance townhouse probably makes more sense. You also have to think about the long term. Will the house still meet your needs--or your family's needs--5 years from now?
A real estate agent can recommend lenders to pre-qualify you for a loan, answer questions about neighborhoods, and even coordinate the closing--all while saving you time and money. As your real estate professional I want to make you feel comfortable and listen to your needs. I know the community and current market and have many years of experience in finding homes for my Buyers.
It's extremely important to have a clear idea of your financial situation before you start looking for a home. Not only will this help you set a budget, but also financial records will come in handy when you start shopping for a loan. While interest rates and closing costs are important considerations, you also want your lender to explain things in a way you can understand and make time for your questions. A Buyer who has already gone through the process of getting a loan approval is a stronger Buyer in the eyes of a Seller, which sometimes makes the Buyers offer more appealing
Focus on areas that meet your needs, budget and personal taste. Factors to pay special attention to include: convenient access to shopping, employment, and schools. The right neighborhood should also make you feel safe, offer recreational opportunities, and have adequate police and fire protection.
During any house showing, be alert for signs of structural weakness, water damage, pest infestations or other things that just don't "look" right. Conversely, don't overlook an otherwise suitable home just because it has cosmetic problems like outdated carpet or a bad paint job. Most importantly, if you question the condition of the home, never purchase a home without first having it thoroughly examined by a professional home inspector
Don't rely on price as your sole bargaining chip. Contingencies may be written into the contract to specify how certain aspects of the transaction will be handled--everything from standard contingencies like pest inspections, to contingencies for the seller to leave the drapes or pay the buyer's closing costs. Make sure any verbal agreements are written into the contract and that you read ALL the fine print before signing. If you have questions, consult with your real estate agent or real estate attorney.
represents the completion of the sale. Be prepared to sign numerous
documents as well as pay funds for loan costs, property taxes, insurance and
other fees. Try and get a copy of the documents prior to the close so you
can contact the settlement agent or escrow officer if any of the information
seems wrong or is unclear.