Buying a new home can be stressful for you. There are some things that are obvious, such as purchase price, taxes, HOAs. From years of experience here are some tips that most people overlook while buying a home.
- Do get preapproved for a loan before you start to shop. This will guide you with what you can afford and also shows sellers that you are a serious buyer when you put an offer in on a home.
- Bring someone along – a friend, your parent(s). A second set of eyes is always helpful. They may catch something you won’t.
- Know the difference between a “want” and a “need” for yourself.
- Do know the lay of the land around you. If you find a house that you want to buy, go without your realtor and take a walk/drive around the streets. Know where things are e.g. grocery store, mail box.
- Do be informed what closing costs you will incur. There is more to buying a home than just the down payment. You will have transfer taxes, costs to secure a loan, attorney’s fees, inspection costs, and others.
- Open up cabinets and closets when viewing places. You need to make sure the storage is enough for you.
- Schedule a second or even third showing on a place if you want to buy it. This will take out the chances of an impulse buy or noticing something that you really don’t like and can’t live with.
- Always hire an attorney and have a house inspection. You always want to have an inspection to make sure you didn’t overlook something in the home. If something is found, the attorney will help you renegotiate or get a credit for you. An attorney will also go over legal documents to make sure there are no red flags with the property.
- Not buy a place because of a color in a room/on a wall – this is a simple cosmetic fix. And when you repaint it, it will make your home feel even more like yours.
- Don’t start looking at homes unless you are pre-approved with a lender. This references above with getting pre-approved. Again, you want to know what you can afford and it shows you are a serious buyer.
- Don’t buy the first place you see. At the very least, see a few so you have something to compare it to.
- Don’t buy a car or make a big purchase before you buy a house. Lenders will see this as a large debt responsibility.
- Don’t try to predict the housing market for the “perfect time to buy” – it’s unpredictable.
- Don’t expect everything to be perfect in a house.