Tips for Home Buyers
No one wants to contract a case of buyer's remorse. You know what I am talking about. It is that feeling that you've either paid too much or received too little. In most cases, there is no recourse for the buyer to receive recompense once the contract has been signed.
If no one wants to catch a case of buyer's remorse, why are there so many people out there who suffer from it? The answer is simple, most of these people engaged in a transaction without enough knowledge, information and a plan.
The best way to make sure that you choose the right home is to properly prepare yourself. The purchase of a home is a tremendous investment, both monetarily and emotionally. The purpose of this page is to in provide you with some tips that will help your transaction progress smoothly and result in your experience being a positive one you will always remember.
Remember, if you have any questions I am just a phone call or email away.
- Get help. Find an experienced Realtor. Your home is likely to represent one of the largest investments in your life. In order to make sure that the transaction goes smoothly it is of vital importance that you choose the right agent to represent your interests. He/She can provide a clear understanding of the actual process itself, providing an explanation of the contract, escrow, title and loan processes, preparing you on what can be expected in the process. The right agent will be someone whose experience and personality you feel at ease with. Try to find an agent that is familiar and knowledgeable about the area you are interested or considering a move to.
- Get pre-approved. Do you already know how much home you can afford? There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a home, finding the perfect home, and then discovering that it is out of your price range. Speak with a lender to learn about the different financing options available to you. When you find the right lender, take action to get processed and ready to go, so that you are prepared when you find the right home for you.
- Avoid major purchases. In order to determine the amount of home you can afford a lender uses your debt-to-income ratio. This ratio is the percentage of your pre-tax income that you spend on debt. Your debt ratio will include: monthly housing costs, car payments, credit cards, student loans, and any other installment debt. If you take on more debt right before buying a home it is going to have an impact on the amount of the loan that the lender will finance.
- Sign up for Property Watch or an MLS search. They are free and likely will be provided by your agent or other popular home buying information sites. In order to make an educated decision you need to know what is available and how much it is going for in specific areas or neighborhoods. You can browse all the active listings from my website for free if you prefer. Once you have found some homes you like save those searches and sign up for property watch so new listings for that area can be emailed to you automatically. The best homes move fast so you need to make sure that you are on top of the available inventory at all times so you do not miss one which suits you.
- Ask Questions. When you locate just the right home for you, ask a lot of questions. No one knows the home better than the seller of the property; however it is not always in the seller's best interest to disclose all the information. If you find out the seller's motivation for selling you might be able to negotiate a better deal on the home. Try to find out the last time service was performed on the roof, furnace, and water heating. Asking the right questions now can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Your agent will be happy to address your questions with the other agent and or seller, if you prefer. Another great source of information specific to the neighborhood may be people that live in and around the neighborhood. I have found that most are happy to talk about what is going on in "their" community and will welcome an opportunity to meet the potential new neighbor.
- Get inspected. The last thing you want to discover after you have bought a home is that you have purchased a "money pit". By "money pit" I am referring to a home that is full of defects that are going to end up costing you a lot of money. Save yourself a lot of time in future litigation and renovation by bringing in a licensed home inspector before you buy. If any problems are found it will steer you away from a bad decision or help you negotiate a better price. A good home inspector can be found online. Interview him/her over the phone before you decide to use their services. Be sure they line up with your expectations and requirement.