Thinking about buying a home? Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned pro, check out these five simple, but valuable home buying tips, that can help save you money and avoid headaches:
Home Buying Tip No 1. – Do the Math
Before cruising neighborhoods, perusing online real estate websites and meeting with an agent take a realistic look at your finances. Figure out what you spend monthly – on everything from dry cleaning to groceries to loan payments and utility bills, more than likely these costs won’t go away; and in the case of utility bills and commuting costs, they may actually go up.
Next, research costs, such as taxes, average utility bills, insurance and homeowners association fees, for the communities you are interested in purchasing a home to help set home buying goals. Use online tools like Quicken, personal financial management tools and mortgage calculators to create budgets to help you estimate how much home you can afford.
Home Buying Tip No. 2 – Start Pre-Approval
Get a mortgage pre-approval before shopping- it’ll help you narrow your search to homes within your budget, plus you’ll walk away with an official pre-approval letter to show the sellers how serious you are – giving you the advantage when negotiating.
Check out our helpful Pre-Approval Checklist to learn more about what you’ll need to get started.
Home Buying Tip No. 3 – Find An Agent You Can Trust
It’s important to find a real estate agent who’s in your corner throughout your home buying journey. Many people decide to work with a friend, relative, friend-of-a-friend… you get the picture. Still not sure you who you want to work with? Choose one of our highly-qualified Residential Rebate agents and finance your home with us to get a refund at closing. Feel free to interview several before settling on the one that you click with. Having an advocate in your corner, pointing out the good and the bad with each property, can save you headaches and cash in the future.
Home Buying Tip No 4 – Shop Around
Before narrowing your search, sign up for our free MyHomeSearch program to view home listings that meet your criteria. Also make sure to check out Open Houses and tour at least a dozen homes before making an offer. Knowing your options and neighborhood demographics can be helpful when comparing homes and even used as a trump card in negotiations.
Home Buying Tip No. 5 – Take a Good Long Look
Since sellers and agents love to put a home’s best face forward, it is up to you to check every nook and cranny before signing your named on the dotted line. The last thing you want to find on moving day is a hornet’s nest on your deck’s railing, a missing mail box, lack of light fixtures or an inconvenient towel rack in the bathroom – all fixable, but hassles you can avoid.
If you point them out during negotiations, there is a good chance they’ll be taken care of before final walk-through.
One final tip before making an offer, check out the home, neighborhood and traffic patterns both during the day and night – making sure it is somewhere you can call home and live comfortably.
Ready to get started? It’s easy, schedule a free consultation with a non-commissioned Home Loan Specialist to discuss your home loan needs. Not quite there? Sign-up for one of our complimentary home-buying seminars.
Do you have any helpful home buying tips? Please share below, we’d love to hear your ideas: