Buying a home is a tough job.
One might say buying a home is a part-time or even a full-time job, with researching, touring homes and communities, making plans and decisions, and so much more
In order to keep it simple (KISS), I’ve outlined the 6 things I feel buyers MUST know in order to be successful. I’d be curious to hear what you think, especially if you have some experience in buying homes.
What You Are Looking For
You can’t find it without some idea of what you need and want. You’ll certainly waste precious time, and it’s tough in a market where inventory is limited and homes sell quickly. What features are most important and beneficial to you, and what you are willing to sacrifice. There are always tradeoffs. . Knowing what you are looking for relates to your budget so have a good sense of your financials.
Many buyers are seeking a particular community or neighborhood based on what’s important to them, which may be dependent on budget. Be realistic about where you want to live, but have a good sense of what’s important and what is a rule out. And be as flexible as you can.
How You Are Going to Pay For It
It’s either cash or a loan, and you better have one or the other. If you don’t have enough cash (other than for the down payment and closing costs) you must get pre-approved from a lender willing to loan you the funds based on your credit, debts, assets and income. With all the documentation, getting a loan is not all that easy. Find out BEFORE you start how much you really can afford, and what it will cost each month. Don’t forget to factor in your personal budget.
Where to Get Answers
The Internet is a tremendous source of information. But you are liable to find contradictory information, or things won’t make sense, and while the Internet may tell you what the market is doing, does it tell you how that impacts you?? And just because it’s on the ‘Net doesn’t mean it’s true. A buyer agent can a terrific resource, with answers to all your questions but also direct you to places online and off to get information on crime, schools, demographics and other things you may be interested in.
What the Local Housing Market Conditions Are
Understanding the market in your local area is key – what’s selling and what’s not, how much inventory there is, and what all this means for you as a buyer in terms of timing and your offer strategy. Many areas have markets, or market segments, that favor sellers and this WILL impact how you search, how quickly you must decide, and what you should offer on a property that interests you.
Who’s Going to Represent Your Interests in Your Purchase
Know that it is NOT the agent working for the seller that’s for sure. Who is going to ask the right questions, get the information you need, advise you on the offer amount and the terms and conditions, maintain confidentiality when appropriate, help you deal with problems when they arise, and look out for your best interests from start to finish.