From Buyer Beware to Buyer Prepared!
Here are 5 important tips to get you in the home buying frame of mind.
- Contact a REALTOR®. Making this your first step will make all subsequent steps that much easier. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions, and financially one of the most expensive purchases, you’ll ever make. You want someone on your side working for you.
- Make a List. Check it twice. Having a clear list of priorities paves the way to knowing where to look, and which homes to look at – and which to pass on. For example, what towns appeal to you and why? Which neighborhood is most desirable? What schools are preferable? Single family or are condos an option? Which amenities are important – restaurants, gym options, daycare? What are your non-negotiable must-have’s – 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, yard, etc.
- Understand Timing & Process. Having a thorough understanding of the time it take to buy a home and the process to get you there is key. If you don't have all of your ducks in a row going into the home buying process, important details could fall through the cracks and jeopardize your odds of getting that home you've always wanted. And as always, time is of the essence, and if it takes you 3-4 days to find an attorney, lender or inspector, it's going to add stress to an already stressful situation.
- Know Why You’re Buying. You're not just buying a home, you're buying into a town, a location and a lifestyle. You wouldn't buy a home simply because 'you loved it,' - you need to look at comparable homes in the area, and decide whether it is a good investment based on market conditions. And vice versa, you also wouldn't buy a home simply because it's a good deal for the area - you need to consider personal preferences such as schools, commute, and whether it is a fit with your financial situation.
- Get Your Finances In Order. This includes understanding your cash-flow, spending habits and contacting a trusted lender to obtain a pre-approval letter. The proper pre-approval or loan program can make you a stronger buyer in the eyes of sellers.
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