5 Things to Know when Buying a Home
1. Familiarize yourself with the process
Every journey is different, but there are approximately 7 steps that all home buyers will complete. First, it’s important that you get pre-approved before you start looking so you know what they can afford. Next, you should call a real estate agent with experience in your desired area to communicate their desires and start house hunting. Once you find the perfect place, work with your agent to offer a price that makes sense based on other available market information. When the sellers accept your offer, you’re almost finished but not quite! You should always get a home inspection to determine if any pricey fixes should be deducted from the cost of the home. And you MUST get homeowners insurance which will cost about $100/bedroom/month. Finally, you can close the deal. Expect to pay about 2-2.5% of the home’s value in closing costs.
2. Know what you can afford
Avoid wasting your time house hunting by knowing what you can afford – you wouldn’t tour an $850k unit if your budget was only $400k, right? Fill out a “prequalification form” in minutes online to get an idea of this number. Sometimes your agent will want you to be preapproved before you start hunting. This is a similar, but more in-depth, process than prequalification where you’ll receive a written offer from a lender that is valid for a certain period.
3. Work with a skilled realtor
Agents who have done a lot of business in particular areas know the nuances of each neighborhood and building that buyers won’t always find online. Is one building mostly rented out by college students? Are they building a 70 story tower directly next door? Does the location suit your desired lifestyle? Experienced agents like Elliot even know the differences between units in the same building – just based on the unit number!
4. Make sure you know all the costs
Plan your budget according to the TOTAL amount you’re willing to spend – not just the cost of the house or condo. These costs include the inspection, insurance, and closing costs. Not to mention movers, travel, and other costs associated with the move itself.
5. Don’t skip the inspection
Saving a few hundred dollars on a home inspection could cost you thousands in the long run. The home inspector looks for damage or signs of wear on structure, plumbing, electricity, and other things that the average buyer may not be able to find on their own. If you find an issue that needs repair, you will be able to adjust your offer to reflect that.
Have more questions about buying a home?
Text Elliot – 305.898.4429