Buying a home is one of life’s most important investments and exciting adventures. Whether you are a first-time or experienced buyer, it’s important to spend some time preparing yourself before you start your search so you are aware of the potential pitfalls and stumbling blocks that may pop up during your path to homeownership success.
Here are some things to keep in mind before and during your search:
- Do the math and establish your purchasing power. Meet with a lender who will help you determine which type of financing will work best for you and how much you qualify for with each type. Getting pre-approved can put you in a much stronger negotiating position because it shows the seller that you are a committed buyer, financially capable of buying the property and more likely to close on it.
- Commit to working with a strong buyer’s agent like me who will look after your best interests and work with your schedule.
- Start surfing. One of the most important tools you’ll need for your house hunt can be found right in your own home or office—the Internet. Nearly every home on the market is listed somewhere on the Internet because real estate agents know the majority of people turn to the Web first when looking for a new home. Start looking on websites like Realtor.com, MLS.com and Zillow.com for homes that fit your particular criteria. You can register for e-mail alerts to have homes sent to you so you can investigate further.
- Location, location, location. Narrow your search before you start touring every house in town. Decide what neighborhoods work best for you and your family. Check out school districts, shopping and dining, public transportation, recreational areas and crime statistics.
- List your priorities and prepare to compromise. Make a list of the features you are looking for in a house and rate them on a scale of one to five, with five being a feature you can’t live without. Then, bring your list with you as you tour homes to keep score.
- Would you like French doors with that? Once you’ve found a home you like, consider the costs of upgrades, repairs or remodels and factor those in to your short or long term budgets. Remember that any upgrades you make, will likely add value to your new home. So it may be worth the extra investment up front if you are planning on selling your home in the foreseeable future.
With this checklist and the right market conditions, you are well on the road to home happiness. For additional information on the opportunities in today’s market or for expert representation, contact us today.
Rich and Sharon Walker
Keller Williams Realty
Office – 512-345-7837
Rich Cell – 512-922-0899
Sharon Cell – 512-925-0075