The process of buying a home is anything but cut and dry. There will undoubtedly be some twists and turns along the way. First, you need to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, you’ll need to find a home that fits both your needs and your budget. Finally, you’ll put in an offer on a place and hope for the best throughout the rest of the process.
There are plenty of things that you can do as a buyer to make buying a home both easier and more streamlined. Below, you’ll find some of the best tips that are specifically for those seeking to buy a home.
Give Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse
When there is a low quantity of homes and a high number of buyers, competition can get fierce. When the market is like this, you’re not guaranteed to get a property that you put an offer on. It may take making several offers on homes in order for you to finally get the keys to your dream house.
You never want your offer to be too low. A low offer could be insulting to sellers and instead of being countered, could just be outright refused. Make an offer too high and you still have a problem. A high offer may be accepted, however, it’s not going to be approved by your mortgage company for you to borrow that much for the purchase. If an offer is accepted and a home appraises for less, you may be left with thousands of dollars that you need to pay on the spot in order to secure the home.
The best way to present an attractive offer is to work with an expert realtor who can do the appropriate research and let you know what a good offer on the home would be.
Know Your Contingencies
After an offer on a home has been accepted, you need to get to work on the contingencies that you’re going to want on the home. Your realtor will also be a huge advocate in this area. Contingencies will include things like the right to do a home inspection, the appraisal contingency, and the contingency that you’ll only be able to move forward with buying the home if you have appropriate financing. These protect you as a buyer so that if something falls through, you’ll be able to back out of the deal without a penalty.
Don’t Go Credit Happy
Once your offer is accepted and your financing is in place, don’t head out to buy tons of new furniture and appliances for your new home. Your credit matters until you get the keys to the house. Opening new credit cards or adding significant debt can affect your credit score negatively, possibly putting a damper on your home purchase. Hold off on making purchases until after you move into the house.
The process of finding and purchasing your dream house may prove to be difficult, regardless of whether you are an experienced or first-time homebuyer. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to avoid hurdles as you navigate the homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you quickly discover a quality home at an affordable price.
1. Narrow Your Home Search
Understand what you want to find in your dream home. Then, you can enter the housing market with a plan in hand to discover your ideal residence.
To narrow your home search, think about the features you require from a home. If you need a house that offers multiple bedrooms, for example, you can hone your house search accordingly. Or, if you want a home that boasts an outdoor swimming pool, you can search for a house that matches your expectations.
Don't forget to consider where you want to reside as well. That way, you can narrow your house search to a select group of cities and towns.
2. Establish a Homebuying Budget
If you know you want to buy a home soon, you may want to search for a mortgage. Because if you begin a home search with a mortgage at your disposal, you will know how much you can spend on a house.
To obtain a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about different mortgage options and help you make an informed home financing selection.
Also, you can always ask mortgage questions when you meet with financial institutions. If you receive expert insights into assorted home financing options, you can choose the right mortgage.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of assistance as you navigate the homebuying journey. And as a result, you could streamline your search for your dream house.
A real estate agent is a homebuying specialist who is ready to help you accomplish your desired results. For instance, if you want to acquire a budget-friendly home in the city of your choice, a real estate agent can help you do just that. On the other hand, if you are looking to buy a house that provides convenient access to your office, a real estate agent can help you map out your house search so you can quickly find your dream home.
In addition, a real estate agent can help you submit a competitive offer to purchase your ideal house. And once a seller accepts your offer to purchase, a real estate agent will help you finalize your home purchase.
Finding and purchasing a home sometimes can be tricky. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, however, you can simplify your quest to buy your ideal residence. Perhaps best of all, these tips may make it easy for you to navigate the homebuying journey like a pro.
If you intend to purchase a house, it may be beneficial to pursue residences before summer. In fact, some of the key reasons to enter the housing market prior to summer include:
1. Many high-quality houses likely will be available.
Winter often represents a slow period for home sellers. However, when spring arrives, many sellers usually are ready to list their properties. And as a result, you may be able to choose from dozens of top-notch residences if you conduct a home search prior to summer.
In addition, it may be a good idea to enter the housing market with homebuying criteria in hand. Because if you establish homebuying criteria, you can accelerate your home search and quickly discover a great house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
2. You can secure home financing in no time at all.
Many banks and credit unions are happy to help you secure a mortgage. If you decide to pursue a home before summer, you may be able to take advantage of favorable mortgage interest rates.
You should consult with a variety of banks and credit unions before you kick off a house search. This will enable you to learn about a wide range of mortgage options and receive comprehensive mortgage insights. Then, you can select a mortgage with a favorable interest rate that will ensure you can purchase a terrific residence without breaking your budget.
3. You can receive expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey.
If you conduct a pre-summer home search, you can hire a first-rate real estate agent to help you find and buy your ideal residence. This housing market professional will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you and will make it simple for you to purchase a wonderful residence at a budget-friendly price.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. He or she next will craft a homebuying strategy to help you buy a house on your timeline.
For homebuyers who want to streamline the homebuying journey, hiring a real estate agent is crucial. This housing market professional can provide deep insights into the real estate sector that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere. By doing so, a real estate agent will teach you about the ins and outs of the real estate market and help you make an informed homebuying decision.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides after you submit an offer to purchase a home, either. A real estate agent will help you finalize a home purchase before summer arrives and do everything possible to ensure you can seamlessly go from homebuyer to homeowner. Thus, if you need help setting up a home inspection or preparing for a house closing, a real estate agent is ready to assist you.
Want to acquire a home before summertime arrives? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the homebuying journey.
Buying a home is a process that can seem daunting and even a little scary to most first-time buyers. After all, being a homeowner is a huge financial and personal responsibility.
To make this lengthy process a bit more approachable, we’re going to break it down into five steps. While these five steps may be somewhat different for each person, depending on their own unique situation, they do comprise most home buyer’s experience.
If you’re interested in learning the steps you’ll need to take before owning your first home, read on.
Step 1: Know your long-term goals
Before you buy a home, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of what you, your spouse, and your family want from the next five or more years. You’ll want to make sure the area you’re moving to can provide things like career advancement and opportunity, good schools for your children, and so on.
These questions may seem obvious, but it’s an important conversation to have before making the long-term commitment of owning a home.
Step 2: Your budget and your needs
It might be tempting to hop online and start shopping for houses, but first you should get a clear idea of the size and cost of the house you’re looking for. This involves determining your budget, thinking about your credit and planning for your down payment.
Step 3: Mortgage pre-approval
Getting preapproved for a mortgage can be a great way to gauge the interest late and loan amount you’ll be approved for. You’ll need to gather paperwork, including income information (pay stubs), tax returns, and W-2 forms.
Be aware that lenders will run a detailed credit report. Since credit reports count as an inquiry, they can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points.
Applying to several lenders within a short period of time can make a significant impact on your score. However, it will start to rise again within a few months if you don’t open any new credit accounts or take out other loans.
Step 4: Get an agent
Real estate agents know the ins and outs of the home buying process better than anyone else. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and provide you with information that you can’t get anywhere else.
Step 5: Pick the right home for you
Now it’s time to start home shopping. However, before you begin, remember that getting approved for a loan doesn’t mean you must or should seek to spend the full amount on a home.
Plan for your needs, and keep the future in mind. Someday you might decide to upgrade, but in the meantime you can be building your credit and building equity in a smaller or more frugal home.
If you’re hunting for a new home, it can be tempting to make an appointment to view as many as possible. However, it can be a better use of your time to narrow down the search beforehand and eliminate houses from your list based on some at-home research. That way you can use those extra hours for fine-tuning your home search and make sure you visit only the houses that will suit your every need.
In this article, we’ll teach you some ways to research a home, neighborhood and town before you take the time to visit.
Things to Research about Your Potential New Neighborhood
So you’ve found a listing that looks nice. Your next step should be to find out as much as possible about the area the home is in to make sure it suits your needs.
A good first step is to head over to Google Maps to find out which amenities are in the area. Schools, banks, grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, parks… the list goes on. This is also a good time to map out how long it will take you on average to drive to work from this house and to see if it will lead you through any high-traffic areas that might affect your daily schedule.
You can also research other homes in the area to see if the house is selling higher or lower than average. This will give you a question to ask the real estate agent if you choose to reach out for further information.
Another step to take on Google for this home is to look up statistics for things like neighborhood crime, ratings for the school district, and the state of local businesses.
Is the area up-and-coming with healthy businesses and low crime? If so, it could be worth pursuing further.
If you’re planning on having children or already do, the quality of the education could be of importance to you.
Finally, get an idea of the local tax rates so you know how much you’ll owe the government for your property and excise taxes.
Researching the house itself
If you’re comfortable with the town and neighborhood, there’s still some research you can do online before you schedule a showing.
See if you can find out if the house belongs to a homeowner’s association. Look up their rules and fees to see if they’re agreeable to you and your family’s lifestyle and plans for the future.
Look up the sale history for the home. If there are several recent sales, this could be a sign of problems with the home or neighborhood. Similarly, if the price has increased or decreased dramatically more than nearby houses, consider asking the real estate agent why this is.
Finally, see if you can view the number of days the home has been on on the market, commonly abbreviated as “DOM.” This will give you some insight as to how desirable the home and neighborhood are.
Once you have all of the information at your disposal, you’ll be in a position to decide whether or not to schedule an appointment to view the home.