Are you considering buying a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Get your finances in order.
Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to do:
- Obtain copies of your credit report.
- Make sure the facts are correct and fix any problems you find.
- Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you find the right house.
Find a house you can afford.
How do you know if you can afford a house? Well, it’s a similar rule of thumb as to that of purchasing an engagement ring: search for a home that is two-and-a-half times your annual salary. If you’d like a more specific number, there are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are many considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc. If it seems too overwhelming, talk to your lender about what an appropriate house price is for your income/debt ratio.
Hire a professional.
While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional real estate agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyers agent who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.
Do your homework.
Before making an offer, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers?
Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Consider the prices for the last few months.
Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.
Think long term.
Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line.
When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.
The above are just a few things to consider as you search for your ideal home. Contact The BelaHomes Property Group today to find out more about buying real estate.