Buying a home can be a frustrating ordeal, especially when inventory levels are down and competition is fierce. Here are 10 tips to make the home buying process a bit smoother.
- Do your homework before looking at homes. Determine exactly what features you want in a home and which are most important to you.
- Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. Web sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and (my favorite) Listingbook can give you a general idea of what the houses in your market are selling for.
- Get your finances in order. Examine your credit report and be prepared for down payment and closing costs.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. while getting prequalified is the first step in the process and lets you know what your price range will be, getting pre-approved tells you EXACTLY how much of a loan you qualify for, and you’ll need the pre-approval letter when making the offer.
- Know your move-in date. When does your lease end? Are you allowed to rent on a month to month basis? Are you allowed to sublet if you find a house before your lease is up?
- Think long term. Are you looking for a starter home, or something to stay in for years to come? This will influence the type of home you decide to purchase, as well as the type of mortgage that will work best for you.
- Don’t become “House Poor.” Buying the biggest home you can afford may leave no money for maintenance, décor, or renovations, and chances are you’re going to want to add your own personal touch to your new house in order to make it YOUR new home.
- Find out how much you’ll be paying in closing costs. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and escrow fees, taxes, homeowners insurance or even upfront homeowners association fees. Sometimes these fees can be placed on the seller, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Don’t take chances. Obtain a professional home inspection and a home warranty plan from the seller to cover any defect within the first year.
- Be choosy, but realistic. You may never find the perfect home. In fact, nothing in life is “perfect.” Find a home that fits your needs and then make it the best home you can.
If you’re ready to start the process of purchasing your first or next home, call me today to set up an appointment. 310-722-5959.
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