5 tips for the serious buyer.
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Starting your home search can be scary, especially if this is your first time. While the process should be exciting, it can also be quite stressful. It is so important that BEFORE you start your homebuying process you complete these 5 steps.
1. Find a lender and get pre-approved! You should know what you can afford before you start your house search. This can work in your favor for a number of reasons. For starters, you may actually be able to afford more than you were expecting! You will be surprised at how even a 1% change in an interest rate, can substantially change your monthly payment! As the market is constantly changing, even if you were pre-approved months before, you should be checking in regularly with your mortgage lender. They can give you day by day updates on what your monthly payment will be for each specific house you want to see, and they can do this BEFORE you spend time looking at a home, only to find out you can’t actually afford it. Finding out what you can afford, and knowing what you are comfortable spending, will eliminate the disappointment of falling in love with a house, only to find out that you wont be able to obtain financing for the home. Also, being able to provide a pre-approval letter when you decide to make an offer on a home, demonstrates to the sellers that you can afford what you are offering, and that your offer should be taken seriously.
2. Research Neighborhoods in your ideal areas. Each community has their own personality, advantages and disadvantages. Are there a lot of young families moving in? Are there mostly retirees? Is this neighborhood actually used as a cut through street and becomes busier at high traffic times then it appears on a Saturday afternoon? Before you spend time looking at homes, be sure to do your research on the different neighborhoods so you can be sure you are making the right choice for your family and lifestyle needs. Don’t forget to think to the future! Ask yourself this question: “Will this neighborhood suit my needs 5, 10, 15 years from now?”. Buying and selling homes is something that most people only do two or three times in their life. The majority of buyers plan to spend several years at a specific property. You want to make sure that the home you chose, can grow with your lifestyle.
3. Pick the right home style! Do you want single story? A Large yard? Garage? Learn about the various home styles available in your desired communities and make a list of MUST haves and WOULD LIKE to have (there is a difference!) While you are creating your list, be sure to rank them so that you are ready to compromise when it is appropriate to do so. And remember, don’t get hung up on paint colors, or light fixtures. These things can be easily changed after you move in. The important things to think about are the things you can’t change or would be harder (more expensive) to change (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, layout of the home, where are the bedrooms placed?). Once getting to know you and your specific needs, I can help guide you to the specific things to look for in each home you choose to see.
4. Take notes and pictures if allowed. It is not uncommon for buyers to see multiple homes in a day. It is important to take notes on each home, and pictures of things you may want to look at again when you get home and are processing all that you have seen. Having your own notes and pictures can help you to remember the things you liked and didn’t like when narrowing down your search for the perfect home.
5. USE A BUYER AGENT! LIKE ME! As I mentioned before, searching for your perfect home can be confusing. It is my job to make sure my clients are happy with their purchase. Buying a home is not like buying a fancy dress for a night out. It is an expensive purchase that is meant to keep you happy and financially secure for years to come. It is a buyers agents job to make sure our clients are asking the questions you might not think about, and is it our job to point out red flags with the property that we see before you invest any money into it. A buyers agent is working for YOUR best interest. We want out clients to be happy! You should love where you live and it is my job to make sure that you do!