One of the first things that first-time home buyers should know is that it is going to take a lot of time and effort to find and finally close on a home of their dreams. In order to make the process as easy as possible and to help buyers make the best choices when purchasing a home. Below is advice from real estate experts to help you throughout the buying process.
First things first, start researching as soon as you decide to buy a home. Look through magazines, search the internet, look through trade papers, and so on to find real estate listing and industry news. With the real estate listings that you have found, follow them through to their sale. Analyze the time it takes for a house to hit the market through to close. Note what the asking price was initially and what the home closed for. These trends will allow you to see the larger picture for homes in your specific location.
The next step is to determine how much you can afford overall and monthly. Most often lenders recommend that buyers spend no more than 3 to 5 times their annual income on a home when you are able to put down 20%. It is also imperative to eliminate outside debts as much as possible. It is also key to figure out the monthly costs of maintaining a home. There are several online tools that help first time home buyers with calculating costs when purchasing a new home.
It is also important to meet with a lender or mortgage broker to get preapproved for a mortgage. Obviously before you can buy a home you need the means to do so. Prequalification means that you have met the requirements set forth by the lender. Taking into consideration your income, debt, savings, and investments your lender of mortgage broker will tell you how much you qualify to borrow.
Your next step is to find a local real estate agent to work with. Hiring an agent literally costs you nothing; you have nothing to lose when you have a realtor working with you. The seller compensates the realtor through commissions on the house when it sells. A real estate agent will provide you insight that only comes from living in an area. They also provide invaluable skills such as negotiations. After going through the process hundreds of times they understand the process better than those of us who only go through it a few times in our lives.
When you start shopping for a home it is important to tour many of the homes in your price range even if they aren’t exactly what you have been dreaming of. It will help you see what is available. Take a note pad and camera with you to keep the homes you visit straight. After time it will be difficult to keep the homes you have toured straight. In each home you are serious about test out certain features such as the plumbing, windows, electrical, and appliances. Take a look around the neighborhood and evaluate how well the homes on the block are maintained, the traffic volume, parking, and such.
It is important not to rush the home buying process. You will find the right home, but it may not happen right away. Make sure you negotiate a fair price, evaluating the cost at which other homes in the neighborhood have sold for, and reach an agreement. When your home goes into escrow it is time to finish up the remaining steps within the buying process.
A home inspection is a must to make sure the home is a good investment and free of costly repairs. Home offers should be made on a contingency that the home passes inspection. If major issues are found the seller has a chance to fix the issues or renegotiate the sale. You as a buyer can withdraw the offer if you decide it is not in your best interest to purchase the residence after the inspection.
Working with the lender you will then select your loan and have the home appraised. This process should be fairly simple and straightforward. As long as you are responsive in working together it will make this process painless. Once the paperwork is coordinated and you have determined the seller is the rightful owner and can legally sell the house you are buying you are good to set a closing date.
Last but not least close on your home. Sign all of the paperwork (there will be a lot of it) and move into your new home!
C21 Lady of the Lakes is a full-service realtor serving Livingston County and the surrounding areas with all their real estate needs. More information can be found at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com/.