When you purchase a new home, you are met with a range of emotions. Excitement. Nervous. Anticipation. Overwhelmed. Whatever you are feeling, buying a home is one of the most important decisions (and investments!) you will ever make. Stumbling blocks will happen from time to time but research and guidance will inform you along the way.
Here are some resourceful tips to remember as you begin the process:
Location, Location, Location
This cliqued line is true. While the potential home tends to be the focus, take a look at the surrounding location. Research the community to make sure it’s the right location for you (and your family) to ensure that fits your needs and wants. Factors to consider are school districts, traffic, and convenience. Most importantly, look at other local community to narrow and finalize your decision.
What do you need?
The average American lives in their home for nine years so think long-term for your needs. A young couple may think that a small condo will work but as their family begins to grow, the home will feel like it shrunk. Reflect upon your future goals when looking at homes. Can you envision your life there in nine years?
Hire an experienced, licensed inspector
The truth is that it’s easy to walk into a home and see all the cosmetic beauty. However, major issues can be covered up. When you hire a home inspector, they can uncover potential problems from wiring to plumbing to foundation. An experienced inspector will explore every inch of the home to ensure you know exactly what you are purchasing. You should be well-informed about your home investment to avoid stress, time, and money in the future. The inspector may scare you with what he/she finds but you want to know all about your new home!
Look beyond the furnishings and décor
When you walk into a home, envision the home without the seller’s belongings. How does the layout and space work for you? Will it accommodate your lifestyle and what you want in a home? You want to look for efficiency and function. For example, an open floor plan with plenty of storage may work for a couple with children than a home with enclosed rooms and limited closet space.
Read between the lines
At times, sellers use persuasive jargon to move their listing. Be wary of these phrases used to draw you in inspecting an underlying reason. For example, selling a home “as-is” can usually mean to count lots of work on your end. A “motivated seller” may wanted to expedite a sell by negotiating on a price but make sure that a thorough inspection has taken place to eliminate pricey factors. When you read “cozy and charming cottage”, you may translate that to a small home. Have realistic expectations for listings and see homes for yourself during showing to see if this is the home for you.
Resist purchasing the expensive home in the neighborhood
You won’t get the same return on investment with the biggest house on the block and more than likely, you will find that you may run into obstacles when you decide to sell. It’s important to consider how this home compares to the other ones in the neighborhood in terms of price and space. Research to see if other local comparable homes are selling before settling.
Show me the money
The first step before buying is to work a qualified lender that can direct you about the lending products in today’s market. They will ask you questions and run your credit. We do not want you to “fall in love” with a home that is beyond your financial means. Sometimes there are items on your credit that you didn’t know were there. Often, there are down payment assistance programs that can help you. A lender will the first step in the process.
While the process of finding and purchasing a home can be a long and stressful process, stay persistent in finding the home that right for you. I’m happy to talk to you about what is on the market and be your source for real estate market. New homes are always cropping up and I’ll keep you consistently updated.