Home Buying Tips
Buying a home is one of the most significant investments a person will make in their lifetime, not only financially, but also socially. To prepare potential buyers for all aspects of the home buying process, Vahe has compiled a list of valuable tips based on years of real estate experience. For more great advice on how to buy a new home, contact Vahe today!
Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan
For a potential home buyer to get “Pre-Approved” for a home loan, a qualified lender must inspect their financial information—income, debt, assets vs. liabilities—to determine how much money the bank is willing to lend. Pre-Approved shoppers save time by only looking at only houses in their price range, and sellers tend to favor Pre-Approved buyers.
Establish a Connection
Often, buyers who meet with and talk to a home’s seller are considered first when it comes time to decide who gets the listing, especially if the seller has an emotional connection to the property and is concerned about the intent of the buyer. Assuage fears by attending an open house and, if possible, establishing a personal connection with the owner.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Though home buyers often dream of owning the biggest, most beautiful house on the block, it is important to consider the cost associated with owning a large house–not only should buyers account for property taxes, utilities, and time spent cleaning, they should also be aware of this real estate norm: Large homes are usually the most difficult to re-sell.
Budget For “Sleeper Costs”
While most home buyers focus solely on whether or not they can make their mortgage payments, considering possible sleeper payments—that is, hidden costs associated with owning one’s own home—will help keep buyers from getting in over their heads, financially. These payments may interest, property taxes, utilities, homeowner-association dues, and more!
Don’t Buy a House Because You Love It
A wise real estate agent once said, “You’re buying a house, not marrying it.” Purchasing a home based on emotional, rather than practical, reasons often leads to poor decision-making and financial trouble down the road. To stay objective, make a list of “must-haves” when attending open houses—if your “dream home” doesn’t meet your criteria, pass.
Get a Thorough Inspection
Home inspectors provide buyers with valuable, unbiased information about what’s really going on inside, under, and around a new home. If the inspection finds fault with some aspect of the house, buyers may use it as a bargaining chip to lower the price of the property. If the problem is serious, home buyers may want to steer clear of the house altogether.
Familiarize Yourself with the Neighborhood
Home buyers, take note: you’re not only purchasing a home, you’re also buying into a neighborhood, a school district, and a community. Before you sign the lease, smart buyers will drive through the city at all hours of the day and night, tour the local schools, explore the parks, calculate commute times, and, if possible, speak with future neighbors.
Understand the Paperwork
The paperwork associated with buying a new home can be overwhelming. To avoid legal pitfalls or costly errors caused by a few wrong keystrokes, wise home buyers should have a professional–either a license real estate agent or a lawyer—look over all documents carefully and clarify any ambiguities. Many Realtors often provide this service for free.