Before you start looking at homes, here are 10 tips to consider when purchasing a home:
1. Real Estate Agent
Working with a real estate agent can make your home-buying process go smoothly. This professional will walk you through all of the steps taken to buy a home from pre-approval, to the home search, making an offer, closing and moving into the home.
2. Home Mortgage Pre-Approved
Before you start looking, it is best to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. You will then know how much home you can afford and be viewed as a more serious buyer when you place an offer on a home. Your Loan Officer will educate you on the type of loans available as well as how the mortgage process works.
3. The Home Search
You need to think about what is important to you when looking for a home. Is there a certain area you want to live? Do you need to be near highways or your work? In addition, you will have certain requirements for the home. Do you prefer a stand-alone home or a condominium? Do you have a certain number of bedrooms needed? Do you prefer a one story or two stories? Do you need a two-car garage? Do you prefer a newly built home, an older home in good condition or a fixer-upper? What kind of floor plan is important to you? Do you need a yard?
4. No Perfect Home
Finding the “perfect” home is difficult. Be prepared to compromise on certain items of your wish list. Make a list of your “needs” and “wants”. However, you never want to just settle on a home that does meet expectations. You are making a huge commitment when purchasing a home and will need to be satisfied living there for years to come.
5. You Found a Home
You found your home and have made an offer with the help of your real estate agent. Do not mentally move in just yet. Your offer first has to be accepted and all contingencies need to be cleared. If negotiations fail or if the home has major structural issues, you will need to move on to find another home.
6. Have the Home Professionally Inspected
Part of your purchase contract should include a whole-house inspection. The inspector will thoroughly review the home for defects. Remember, no home is perfect and most will have minor flaws. Pay attention to any major issues.
You will need homeowner’s insurance on your home. It is also advisable to have owner’s title insurance on the home as well. A homeowner’s warranty program is another type of insurance to consider.
When you close on the sale of your home, there may be closing costs. You will know ahead of time what those costs are. Your real estate agent will review what documents you will be signing ahead of time.
When you plan your move to your new home, you will need to decide if you are doing it yourself or hiring a professional. You will also need to know the date of when you have possession of the home. Be sure to notify all utilities and your Internet service provider of your new address.
10. You Moved In – Now Save Money
Congratulations, you now own a home! You now need to keep saving money for unexpected expenses. The water heater may break down or you may need a new roof for your home. Plan on keeping your home in good condition with a priority on home-maintenance and improvement. You want your investment in your home to be a solid one for the future.
Ready to look for a home? Start here!