Tips and Techniques to Buying A Home
Whether you’re a 1st time home buyer or a veteran, buying a home can be a complex process.
Here are some tips to help you decide what style of home you’re looking for, any amenities and determine
your price range.
1. Evaluate your finances and shop for a mortgage
- Once you have determined that now is the right time to buy , it’s time to do your homework on getting a loan.
- If you don’t already have a mortgage professional, you could ask for referrals from your realtor or a personal friend that has recently obtained a mortgage.
- Get a copy of your credit report. Make sure it has been updated and there are no errors. Decide if there is anything you can do to improve your credit score before applying for a loan.
- Get a pre–qualified letter or even better a pre-approval letter. A pre-qualified letter is a general approval. If you are serious about a property and make an offer, the seller will usually request a pre-qualified letter. If you don’t have this and make an offer without a pre- qualified letter it could delay the process and you could lose the home if there were multiple offers.
- Save for a down payment. Once you have found a property your mortgage specialist can determine the amount of down payment you will need.
2. Find a realtor
- If you do not already have a realtor you might get a personal referral. Meet and interview with several realtors to see who has the best qualifications to handle your needs. Make a list of questions to ask during the interview.
3. Decide on the location / neighborhood you want to be in.
- If you have children or are planning to have children, you will want to consider the school district.
- Consider your commute to work. Drive to and from your work place to the property at rush hour to ensure the traffic is no surprise.
- What amenities are you looking for? Do you want to be on the lake or walking distance to shopping and restaurants? Or maybe you want a large yard with a swimming pool.
- Listen for noise from traffic, planes and trains. If there is a train in the area, do some research and find out about the train schedule. Observe if there is a flight pattern going over or near the property.
4. Determine what your home needs are.
- What type or style home are you looking for? Do you like historical, older homes and neighborhoods versus new construction? What square footage, number of bed and bathrooms.
- Do you want a large piece of land or are you just looking for a small, low maintenance yard?
- What type of storage do you need? Do you want a garage or maybe a basement that has the possibility to finish into additional living space?
5. How to make an offer
- When you have decided on a home you would like to make an offer on , your Nestlewood broker will prepare a comp sales report based on similar characteristics : square footage, number of bed and bathrooms, any upgrades and size of the lot and compare with the property you are considering.
6. Did this property have a different original use, other than residential?
- Investigate the original use of the property to ensure there are no surprises for example: sewer or electrical satellites. As well, make sure there are no ordinances or easements on your property.
7. Is it a buyers or sellers market?
- This could help you in negotiating the purchase price and the terms. Along with the sales offer contract, write a personal letter stating the facts as to how you determined the purchase price. Find out if the seller is motivated. Is the seller moving because they have purchased a new home or has accepted a new job in another city?
8. Talk to the neighbors.
- Ask them questions. What do you like most about the neighborhood? How are the neighbors? Do you know why the owners are selling? How is the crime in the area? You can sometimes find out things that wouldn’t normally be disclosed.
9. For sale by owner.
- If the home you’re interested in is a for sale by owner, be cautious about handling the
sale with out a real estate agent. The property could be over priced. Therefore, the
property wouldn’t appraise for the value you need to get a mortgage. Inspections may not
be treated as timely as necessary. You may not receive full disclosure of previous issues,
such as : flooding in the basement, mildew or mold.. Consider using your Nestlewood real
estate broker to represent you in the FSBO transaction.
10. Crunch the numbers.
- Before your final negotiation, have your mortgage specialist run the numbers for your actual mortgage payment. You might be surprised at how small or large an impact a difference of $5,000 to $50,000 has on your mortgage. This could help you decide on your final offer.
11. Get a home inspection.
- Once the offer has been accepted , have the home inspected on a timely basis to determine if there are any major repairs. Once the report is received , review this with your realtor and determine the items that should be repaired or ask for money to make the repairs yourself.