It can be easy to get caught up in looking for the right home and forget about some of the details. I see this happen often where buyers only think about a couple of details like the interest rate, home location, layout and monthly payment, however there is much more to the home buying process. Here are some buying tips I really hope will help you!
1) Protect Your Credit - Get Pre-Approved - Yes this might be a bit obvious but I can’t stress this enough, protect your credit before during and after. It takes time and good credit choices to build up your credit but it can only take a moment to ruin it. Having good credit gives you more and better options, so protect it. Along these lines, make time to get pre-approved even in advance of your purchase so you know where you stand and what you should expect.
2) Know Your Limits & Fees - This is key before you start your home search, knowing what you are approved for and what fees to expect. You wouldn’t shop for a tv with out first knowing the specs and costs, applying for a home mortgage is not much different.
3) Be Informed - keep all your documents together from start to finish, ask questions - From the first loan estimate, copy of your credit report, home inspection, and all the way to your closing documents it is a good idea to keep these all together. Having these documents readily available through out your transaction is important and will save you time and stress in case you need to access them.
4) Set your priorities - Write your priorities down and remind yourself what it is your looking for and why. From location, price point, type of home, etc… have those priorities as you don’t want to venture off and end up with buyers remorse.
5) Work with a Realtor® - As a Realtor® I work on this every day and I am up to date on many aspects of this topic from contracts, interest rates, inspection and so much more. Take advantage of the fact the commission is paid by the seller and essentially a free service to you. Why wouldn’t you have your own representation, the seller does… shouldn’t you?
6) Know The Market - Don’t be afraid to start many months in advance to when you plan to buy, use that time to learn the market. Figure out what you can get for your money, which you might have to make adjustments. By the time you start your search you will be ahead of the competition and making better decisions and offers sooner!
7) Don't Fall In Love - inspect the house - Too often buyers can fall for a home hard and want that home no matter what, even if it means skipping on a home inspection. The reality is all homes are not perfect, even new homes should be inspected. Take your time this is a big decision and an inspection will prove to be valuable in the long run.
8) Consider Utilities, HOA dues, maintenance, etc.. - Yes the sales price is only one part of it, the reality is there are many other expenses associated with a home. The most frequently asked question is how much are the utility bills, especially the electric bill. Others consider the landscaping and what it will not only cost to water it but also maintain it. Just be sure to look at the whole picture, remember once you buy it then you have to live in it and maintain it, consider those expenses as well.
9) Think RESALE - Don’t forget that one day you will have to put this home on the market, how will it appeal to the general public? Sure you may like it and think it is unique but that may hurt you on resale, the reality is we have to think ahead to the day it goes on the market with you as the seller.
10) Just Say No - No big purchases, no new credit, etc… - Once your shopping for a home, under contract and waiting to close your favorite word should be “NO.” No to putting anything on credit cards, no to opening new credit card account, no to a new vehicle you have to finance… no, no, no. Just say no! Why? Because adding more credit can change your ratios, credit score, etc… and could then hurt your financing or even get you decline.
There are many things to consider when buying a home, these are some of the least mentioned topics that I thought would be good to bring up. Remember there are many things to consider when buying a home beyond the layout and the sale price.
Again I hope this was of value and maybe you picked up a tip or two. My goal is always to be a resource and educate my clients so they can make informed & educated decisions.
Have questions about this or other topics, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Luis Cuevas, Realtor®
RE/MAX Cross Country
1990 Justin Road
Highland Village, Texas 75077
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