Here are 10 secrets to help you purchase the perfect home:
Secret #1 Get pre-approved for your loan
Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at your financial information & they’ve let you know how much you can afford & how much they will lend you. It’s #1 on our list, because it’s simply that important.
Being pre-approved will save you so much time & energy, because you won’t run around town looking at houses outside your budget. It also lets sellers know that you are serious & qualified to purchase their home.
Secret #2 You don’t have to do everything on your own
Purchasing a home is usually the biggest financial commitment you’ll make in your lifetime. With such a serious transaction, you don’t want to make a mistake trying to do everything on your own.
A real estate agent’s role isn’t just finding you properties to see. It’s more about acting as your resource, providing you with information about the market, letting you know if a home is priced well & guiding you through the process.
Get a real estate agent to represent you. As a buyer, it actually costs you nothing to work with an agent, because the seller’s agent will pay your agent’s commission.
Secret #3 Don’t try to time the market
Don’t stress with trying to time the market to figure out when is the best time to buy. It’s the best time to buy when you have found the right house within your budget.
Real estate is always changing; it goes up, down & back up again. If you try to wait for the perfect time, you’ll probably miss out.
Secret #4 It’s never too early to start
It can take months to find the right home, & even after an offer is accepted, it can be another 30-45 days to close. Plus the earlier you start, the less stressed you’ll be throughout the entire process.
Secret #5 You’re buying a home – not dating it
Buying a house based on emotions might lead to some pretty bad financial decisions. Make your decisions based on the market & follow your instincts. By doing so, you’ll get a great house for a good value.
Secret #6 Bigger isn’t always better
We have a saying in real estate that goes, “don’t buy the biggest, best house on the block.” Your home will only increase in value as much as the other houses in your area. If you’re the biggest house, your value will be pulled down.
Secret #7 Offer what you can afford & what the home is worth
Your offer should be based on what you can afford & what you really believe the property is worth. Offers should be fair & reasonable. Many buyers believe they should always offer a lower price, but it depends on the market & if the home is priced well.
If a home is priced well, it can sell quickly & at full ask. Just because you pay the listing price, doesn’t mean you’re getting a bad deal. It simply means you’re lucky enough to be working with reasonable sellers. Plus, you’re getting a good value for your new home without all the negotiating.
Always make sure you offer something you are comfortable with in the beginning. Although an inspection or an appraisal may allow for more negotiating later, that’s not always the case & you should not rely on it.
Lastly, before making any offers, look at what other homes have sold for in the area & don’t be scared to offer an oddball number. It will stand out from all the other offers out there. When you get more specific, the seller’s will think you’ve given it careful thought, which we know you will!
Secret #8 Don’t skip the inspection
Home inspections aren’t required, but if you skip an inspection, you’re financially responsible for any issues. An inspection will cost you about $200-$300, but it could end up saving you thousands in the long run. If the inspector finds any issues, you’ll be able to negotiate with the seller for a lower price to allow you to make repairs.
Secret #9 Don’t make any big purchases
You should avoid making any big purchases about 3-6 months before buying a new home. A lender needs to see that you’re reliable & they need to see a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best possible loan.
You need to be especially cautious after going under contract. Don’t open any new credit cards, acquire too much debt or buy a new car. You should also wait to buy all your new furniture until after you close on your home.
Secret #10 Be a stalker
It’s the one & only time, we will say it’s OK to be stalker! Before you purchase a home, drive through your neighborhood at different times to scope it out. It’s also smart to do your regular commute from the house to work to make sure it’s something you can handle.
Research the nearest restaurants, parks & schools – not only do these things influence you, but they also influence your home’s value when it comes time to resell.