There’s nothing like the experience of buying your first home. You’ll spend hours browsing MLS listings in search of your dream house, and you’ll day dream about the life you’ll live inside those walls. Before you get started on your adventure, let us give you 6 tips on how to buy a house that will save you time and reduce stress.
Tip 1 – Save Some Money
Sure, you know that you’ll most likely need a down payment to purchase a house, but did you know there are other costs involved? A home mortgage loan helps you when it comes to financing your house, and the down payment for that is typically around 20 percent. Unless you’ve worked out other terms with the seller, you’ll be responsible for paying the closing costs, too. There is no one person or business who sets the closing costs amount. This amount is the sum of fees from attorneys, clerks, inspectors, and other services needed during the home buying process. Those costs will come out-of-pocket, so be prepared with additional funds in your savings. It’s a good idea to plan ahead for anything that may need to be done to the home after you’re handed the keys. A little padding in the savings account will give you peace of mind and reduce stress when closing costs and other fees are due.
Tip 2 – Check Your Credit
A home mortgage lender will inspect your credit report with a fine toothed comb! Don’t let delinquent accounts and errors on your credit report cause you embarrassment and delay the purchase of your home. There are three main credit reporting agencies. These agencies are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Once a year, you can obtain a free copy of your credit report due to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It’s a good idea to compare all three reports for accuracy. Not all information will be the same, and this will help you spot things that need your attention. You’ll want to avoid purchasing anything with a big price tag during the period before and during the home buying process. These types of transactions can impact your credit worthiness by adjusting your debt to income ratio.
Tip 3 – Find a Real Estate Agent
If you needed surgery, you wouldn’t dream of performing the operation on yourself. You would find a qualified doctor to help you through that procedure. So, why would you consider buying a house without the aid of a professional real estate agent? They have the knowledge and experience you need to go through the home buying process with as little stress as possible, while keeping the excitement of buying a home alive. They have access to new homes faster than you will by just searching on your own. Not only that, they can provide you with helpful real estate market information that keeps you on the right track and in your price range when looking at houses. When it comes time to place an offer on a house, your real estate agent’s negotiation skills may be the key to success. Choose someone who is a local expert, knows about the type of house you are interested in buying, and communicates at the highest level. It’s important to know that your communication expectations will be met.
Tip 4 – Get a Pre-Approval Letter
After you’ve made sure your credit is in good shape and you’ve saved a substantial amount of money, it’s time to find out exactly how much home you can afford. In order to do this, you’ll want to apply for a home mortgage loan pre-approval. If approved, you will receive a letter that lets you know how much of a loan you are qualified to receive. Once you have this information, you can begin searching for houses within your correct price range. Knowing your target price range keeps you from the heartbreak of finding the perfect house that is completely out of your comfort zone for a mortgage loan. This pre-approval letter is a benefit during bidding wars. Should your offer have competition from another buyer, having a pre-approval letter could help the seller see you in a more positive light because they know you are serious about your offer.
Tip 5 – Create a List
You know how much you can afford, and you’ve found a qualified real estate agent to help you in your search. What exactly are you wanting in a home? Sit down a make a list of wants and needs. If you have a large family, the number of bedrooms may be a need for you. If you are single, you may be able to compromise on number of bedrooms in order to secure a location closer to your job. These things are important to consider. You need to know what you’re willing to compromise on and what you refuse to budge an inch on when it comes to locating your perfect home. Keep in mind that you are not likely to find everything you are dreaming of in one house. Compromise is not a dirty word, and it can bring benefits in the long run.
Tip 6 – Don’t Get Swept Away
This is an exciting time, but don’t let your emotions get away from you. This is a major investment, and it needs to be treated with all the seriousness it deserves. Don’t be swayed by the pretty picture painted by a seller. Do your research on the neighborhood, the schools, the local community, and area trends. Look at the property and house with a critical eye. Check for cracks in the foundation, signs of leaks, and trails of insects. While there will be inspections done during the home buying process, you should be the first line of defense.
Of course, your real estate agent is the best source for information on the home buying process. Give one of the agents at TeamWorks WorldWide a call today at 941-779-5149 to tour available homes in Bradenton and surrounding areas.