8 Tips to Help Begin Your Home Search2/17/2015
- Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing.
- Be realistic. It’s fine to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a guide to evaluate each property. With the right research and preparation, you can find the home that fits your needs best.
- Get your finances in order. Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs. With today’s tight lending standards, it’s imperative to clean up your credit score before applying for a mortgage. A bad credit score may not just affect your rates, but may prevent you from getting a mortgage altogether.Then, talk to a lender and get pre-qualified for a mortgage. This will save you the heartache later of falling in love with a house you can’t afford.
- Don’t ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Buying a home is one of the most important important purchases you will make, it is a personal process. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion, but be ready to make the final decision on your own.
- Decide your moving timeline. When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area? All of these factors will help you determine when you should move.
- Think long term. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in this home for a longer period? This decision may dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as the type of mortgage terms that will best suit you.
- Prepare for the home inspection. Getting a home inspection is imperative in order to weed out any hidden problems, such as mold or termites, before you sign the contracts. Problems found during the inspection can potentially be used as a bargaining chip with sellers. Likewise, an appraisal is a must to ensure the value of your purchase.
- Get help from a REALTOR®. Hire a real estate professional who specializes in buyer representation. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. Buyer’s reps are usually paid out of the seller’s commission payment.
RE/MAX Associates lead agents of competing companies in professional designations which denote specialized training and education. They dominate the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Certified Relocation Professional (CRP), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and Leadership Training Graduate (LTG) ranks. Consummate professionals, RE/MAX Associates lead the industry in advanced real estate education and production. That's why they're known as "The Real Estate Leaders" and why No one in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.To be a “winner” when buying a home, you will need to make a lot of hard, responsible decisions. Purchase your home as an informed consumer, with the right people working in your best interests. Choosing the right REALTOR® should be the first important and wise decision you make.