7 Tips for Buying a Home This Year
Whether you are buying your first home, moving up, or downsizing, buying a home should be an exciting experience. The best way to reduce stress is to have the support of the right real estate team. Internet media company, Buzzfeed, surveyed its community of Realtors and real estate agents to compile this list of the top 7 tips your agent wants you to know before you start searching for a new home.
- Make a list of wants and needs – and limit your non-negotiable “must-haves.” Buying a home is an emotional experience, it’s easy to get invested in certain features. Determine what you can and can’t live without ahead of time and be flexible. Even if you find a home that does not have everything, you may be able to modify it to fit your needs in the future.
- Location is the one thing you can’t change – while you can add an extra bathroom or upgrade the kitchen, you will not be able to change where your home is located. Decide how far you are able to commute to work and what you are looking for in a neighborhood and work within these confines. The perfect home isn’t so perfect when you have no cell phone service and a two-hour commute!
- Real estate websites only go so far – websites like Zillow and Redfin are a great way to preview listings and get an idea of the prices of homes in your area. Don’t underestimate the value of Realtors and real estate agents. They will have early access to listings before they make it to public databases and relationships with other agents in your area. The right Realtor or real estate agent could help you get your offer accepted.
- Realtors and real estate agents do not get paid UNTIL you buy your home – some home buyers think they can save money by going it alone without the help of a Realtor or real estate agent, but it could cost them more in the long run when they overpay for a home or have to hire a real estate attorney to assist with paperwork. Realtors provide a valuable service with finding listings, making an offer, helping with the paperwork, and more. Plus, they do not get paid until you’ve bought your home.
- Consider additional inspections – a regular home inspection is required if you are buying your home with mortgage financing, but spending more on additional inspections now, could prevent problems down the road. If you are buying an older home, get a sewer inspection, if the house has stucco siding, get a moisture inspection to check for mold. Ask your agent what they recommend, they’re the expert!
- Work with an agent who lives in the area you’re looking to buy – in a competitive housing market you will have to move quickly. Working with a Realtor or real estate agent who lives where you are looking to buy saves you valuable time. It will also help if you are moving to a new neighborhood. Your agent can provide insight on what it’s like to live to there.
- Get preapproved for mortgage financing first – mortgage preapproval will give you an idea of how much home you can afford and show the seller that you are a serious buyer. Getting preapproved with the right lender can also expedite the mortgage process.
When you’re buying a home, choosing the right real estate team makes all the difference. If you have any questions about mortgage preapproval, let me know.