Don’t be set up. Assess in great detail what you are looking for in a home. The more strict and structured you make your needs/wants list beforehand, the less likely you are to be blinded when you view a house.
You may get excited by the glass tile tub surround but don’t overlook the fact that one of your requirements was an attached garage. That tile is pretty, but it’s not going to keep your car warm and dry all winter long!
Set strict priorities and you are far more likely to get a house that you can have a long-term relationship with.
2. Don’t go Alone
Having a real estate professional on your side will help you during every stage of the home buying process. From getting advance notice of newly listed properties, skilled negotiation, and help with paperwork, having someone on your side is extremely important.
With interest rates low, many renters are starting to think about purchasing a home of their own. While simple rental cost vs. mortgage cost comparisons can be very attractive, buying a home is a serious commitment, and there are many factors to consider:
How long you plan to live in the home.
Selling a home costs money. If you potentially may have to move in the short term, the value of your home may not have appreciated enough to cover the costs of buying and selling.
The length of time that it will take to cover those costs depends on various economic factors. Average appreciation tends to sit at around 5% per year. In this case, you should plan to stay in your home at least 3-4 years to cover buying and selling costs. The real estate market can be particularly volatile, however, and dramatic swings up and down are not uncommon.
Whether you are buying your first home or your fifth, the process of buying a home can be an emotional, time-consuming venture. Feeling that, in the end, you made the right decision and got a good deal can make all the difference.
As with most major decisions, the amount of work and research you undertake before you start shopping can have a dramatic effect on how well you do in the end.
Do you really need that backyard tennis court?
Everyone can picture their ideal home. If you haven’t thoroughly prepared yourself prior to viewing houses, chances are that you will find what you think is your ideal home, and will wind up paying too much for it.
It is essential to treat the buying process in a slightly detached manner. Those who fall in love with houses usually pay too much.
Shopping for a new home is an emotional experience. It is, however, also a business transaction, and must be treated as such. Three of the most devastating things that can go wrong are:
Paying too much
Losing a dream home to another buyer
Buying the wrong home
When you have a systematic plan before you shop, you’ll be sure to avoid these costly errors. Here are some tips on making the most of your home purchase:
Get the information you need
What price do you offer a seller? Is the seller’s asking price too high? Is it a deal? Your own research is important, as is the assistance of a Realtor®. A professional Realtor® can offer an unbiased opinion on the value of a home, based on many factors and a great deal of information. Without knowledge of the market, your offer could be too much. Or worse, you could miss out on a great buying opportunity. Hire the right person and trust that person to represent your interests.
Of course a basement waterfall and grotto is a practical and useful addition to any home. That’s pretty much the only thing standing between you and the playboy lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about, right? But who’s going to clean it? It’s easy to fall in love with certain features of a home, but to find out that those same features, in the long run, are your least favorite. Here are a few common ‘extras’ and a quick assessment of their relative values.
Also referred to as radiant heat, in-floor heating is a brand new invention. Well, except that the Romans did it a couple thousand years ago by channeling hot air under the floors of their villas. And Frank Lloyd Wright did it in the thirties with hot water, but other than that . . .
Buying a home can be an emotional, time-consuming, and complex process. There are a few things that you can do to help make the process go as smooth as possible:
1. Check your credit. Before you apply for a home loan, regardless of your credit, it's a smart idea to obtain a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus and review the information.
If there are errors or things that need to be addressed, it's easier to address them before you have found a house, than after you have found a house and are trying to close your loan. If you know that there are a few blemishes on your credit, let your lender know what they are, why they are there, and why you are a still good credit risk.