Tips on the
home buying process
The process of buying a home can
be a time consuming and emotional
undertaking. With the variety of
homes available in any given real
estate market, it can be a
difficult process to best gauge
the home that is suited to your
needs. In an attempt to simplify
the process, here are some things
to remember when considering the
purchase of a new home.
One of the most important aspects
of purchasing a home is ensuring
that your finances are in order
before the process begins. The
first step is to research lenders
that are operating in your area.
Do your homework, find the lender
that suits your lifestyle and
with whom you trust. Giving this
the proper attention can benefit
you in the long run. It will also
encourage you to shop around and
compare the different mortgages
that are available in your area.
It is also a good idea to figure
out how much you can afford on a
monthly basis in terms of
mortgage payments. Having a
number in mind at the outset, and
communicating this to the lender
can assist in getting you the
mortgage that you want. Finally,
one of the most important steps
in the financing process is to
get your mortgage pre-approved.
Having a full pre-approval, (not
just a quick qualification)
allows you the freedom to shop
for a home, confident in the
knowledge that when you find that
perfect property, an offer can be
made without complications. This
also gives the buyer power in the
negotiation process as it shows
the seller that your offer is
serious and has the financial
backing necessary for a quick and
hassle free closing. It will
also help guide your Realtor to
the homes you can afford.
Once the financing is in place,
take some time to research the
area where you want to live.
This is a great time to consider
schools, services, amenities and
other necessities of life.
Remember that the neighborhood
where the home is located is an
integral part of the home's
value. This is also a good time
to review the list of your wants
in relation to the home that is
ideal for you. Prioritize your
needs and wants and know which
ones you would be willing to
sacrifice if the need arises.
If you are ready to make an offer
on a home at this point, sit down
with your Realtor and discuss
your options. How much is a fair
offer for the home in question?
Look at the other recent sales
(Comps) in the area. It is
affordable to you, the buyer?
Take into account the possibility
that you may be outbid if the
home is a desirable one. This is
a great time to discuss your
bidding strategy with your
Realtor and set a "high point"
for what you are willing to pay
for the home. Hopefully your
offer will be accepted and you
will be spared the emotionally
charged process of bidding
against another prospective
If your offer is accepted, you
will then need to have a proper
home inspection performed. This
is critical. It is a good idea to
add a subject or two to the
purchase contract, the most
important being "Subject to the
home passing an inspection." If a
home is not inspected, the buyer
could be in for real trouble. It
is important to know as much as
possible about the structural
condition of the house before
completing the purchase.
A good inspection will reveal
imperfections in the house such
as mold, water damage, improper
building procedures and many
other items. If possible, you
should be there for the
inspection and ask the inspector
as many questions as you can.
After all, this is going to be
your home and you should know its
condition prior to closing on the
sale. What might need ongoing
maintenance? What needs to be
repaired or replaced prior to
close of sale? What needs
attention in the near future?
Things like this can affect your
offer price, and if there are
things that require immediate
replacement they can be utilized
as bargaining points during
negotiation. Consult with your
Realtor in how to handle the
negotiations as related to
Assuming that your offer has been
accepted by the seller, your
lender will likely require you to
secure home insurance. This is
another area where it is a good
idea to shop around to see what
you can find. With numerous
companies and policies available,
take your time and find the one
that best suits your needs,
wants, and financial ability. Now
the final step of the buying
process can occur - Closing. It
is here where the final
agreements are signed, and
finalized. Then the actual
property transfer takes place and
all that remains is for you to
enjoy your new home!
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