First think of your list of needs and wants. (Ex: 2 car garage, a big kitchen, a fenced in back yard for the dog, a game room, etc.) Don’t forget about any essential family member or pet. Make sure that everyone is going to be happy! Be sure to tell your Realtor what your list is so that he/she can find you a home that suits you best. Then when you are viewing homes, make sure that all of your needs are met! Treating the process like a regimented manner will help you to make a rational, informed decision.
GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE BEHIND YOU
Buying a home is a complicated process, with many people involved. The right people on your side can make a big difference. An experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable Realtor can put a team of advocates, including lenders, lawyers, home inspectors and movers, on your side immediately.
The more you share with your Realtor, the better he or she will be able to represent you. Letting your representative know exactly what you are looking for, in terms of needs/wants, price range, and location, can eliminate unnecessary trips to unsuitable homes. That focus can help ensure that you wind up in the right home that suits you!
PAYATTENTION TO RED FLAGS
When evaluating a home, be sure you know the difference between acceptable and unacceptable problems. Cosmetic items like peeling paint, worn carpeting, or unattractive wallpaper can be easily remedied. They can also be used as a negotiation tool since there will be costs involved in updating the home. Major problems, however, are clearly red flags. Look for items such as major foundation cracks, water damage, outdated electrical systems, and inadequate plumbing. These items could be too expensive to remedy to make the home a worthwhile investment.
BE CAUTIOUS WITH FIXER-UPPERS
Sometimes, a fixer-upper can be purchased below market value, and once sufficient repairs are made, can be sold at a significant profit. However, not all fixer-uppers will bring in the profits you might expect. Consumers often overestimate their level of dedication to doing extensive renovation work, and underestimate the cost associated with such work. A wall that needs to be replaced can often lead to the discovery of faulty plumbing, electrical, or other major undertakings. Your Realtor and home inspector are your BEST allies when it comes to cost benefit analyses!
Get a list of lending institutions from your Realtor and visit one of them prior to shopping. Being pre-approved gives you a solid price range and lets your Realtor and potential seller know that you are serious and not just a browser.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
It is still true! The desirability and resale value of your home depends on location more than any other factor. People want a desirable community that includes character, quality of schools, access to work, major transportation arteries, recreational facilities, and more.
On your viewing trips, take a careful look and ask the following questions: How does this home compare to others in the neighborhood? Are yards fenced? What school district is this? Etc. The less expensive houses in a better area tend to appreciate faster than the most expensive houses in a less desirable area. Additional factors that affect the property value of a home include traffic, sounds, smells, zoning and many others. Be sure that you are completely satisfied with the neighborhood.
USE YOUR REALTORS KNOWLEDGE
Your Realtor is trained in all aspects of real estate, including understanding supply and demand, economics, and the neighborhoods of the city in which they practice. A professional Realtor can do much of the preliminary work for you, by reviewing your needs, reviewing available properties, and making an informed decision on your behalf. A comprehensive knowledge of the available homes in your search area is one of your Realtor’s strongest assets. With the aid of computerized systems, a Realtor is notified within hours when a home becomes available.
HIRE A HOME INSPECTOR
A home inspector is an inexpensive way to gain peace of mind, and guard your pocket book. A proper inspector will cover all areas of the house including foundation, electrical, heating, plumbing, floors, walls, ceilings, attic, roof, siding, and trim, porches, patios, decks, garages and drainage. A professional inspector can give you an objective overview of the property, with a written report, indicating the present condition and items that will need repair.
CONSIDER YOUR FUTURE NEEDS
A move can be a major undertaking. Take a good look at your current lifestyle and consider the future. Will you need extra space for a home office, a child, or perhaps a child moving back home? Perhaps it may be easier and less expensive if you purchase a home that can meet these needs now, rather than moving to a larger or smaller home a few years down the road.
Do you qalify for a grant to help you with your downpayment or closing costs? Visit: sethfc.com/homebuyers/ to find out more or call us to find out more. Income requirements must be met to qulify. You do NOT have to be a first time homebuyer to qulify.