Buying a home can seem very overwhelming and exhausting, especially for the first time home buyer. When working with the right agent and following the tips below, the home buying process can be a lot less stressful.
*Get a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. A pre-approval letter is a necessary part of the home buying process as it not only gives you an exact price range for your purchase, it will add a great deal of strength to your offer. Knowing the amount that you qualify for will also eliminate the heartache of finding your “dream home” only to find out that you can’t qualify for the loan. If you don’t have a mortgage lender, your real estate agent can recommend one.
*Choose an agent that you feel comfortable with and who understands your needs. A good real estate agent is not going to pressure you into a sale. Most of the time you can tell within the first meeting if you and your agent are on the same page. If upon that initial meeting, you don’t feel comfortable with an agent, then move on. Don’t waste your time or theirs. When you do find an agent that understands you, stick with them. Also, many new buyers believe that they have to call the agent that is listed on the For Sale sign to get information on a property. Although this can be done, it is in your best interest to have your own real estate agent working solely for you. You can choose an agent of your choice to represent you, at no cost to you.
*Don’t over-buy by purchasing at the top range you are qualified for. That large and beautiful home can quickly deteriorate if you can’t afford the upkeep and maintenance. And on top of that, when it seems like your whole paycheck is going towards the support of your house, you can feel trapped and stressed. Take some time to jot down ALL your monthly expenses and then add in some unexpected costs to see what you can comfortably afford each month. Leave yourself some room to enjoy other things in your life and to be prepared for emergencies.
*Don’t wait for the “perfect” home. Many first time home buyers make the mistake of looking for a home that has 100% of their needs and wants. Instead, it makes sense to determine the most important of your needs andwants and selecting a home that meets most of them (Is the school district more important than the media room?). This process can also help you from overbuying.
*Have representation when buying a brand new home build. New home builder sales reps represent the builder. When you have an agent working for you, let them register you with the builder or be sure to let the builder’s rep know that you are working with a real estate agent. That way your agent can help negotiate on your behalf, help with the paperwork, keep you apprised of deadlines, and help ensure a smooth closing.
*Get a home inspection. Protect yourself by investing the $300 to $500 for a professional inspection. Don’t skip the inspection or rely on the advice of a friend or relative who is not a professional in order to save a relatively small amount of money. Without a professional home inspection, you run the risk of not exposing potentially expensive, or even hazardous defects in the property. Your real estate agent should be able to refer home inspectors to you.
*Breathe! Smile! And have fun!