Tips to Buying a Home
Whether you’re an eager first-time home buyer or a seasoned buyer who’s bought a home before, it’s imperative to be prepared for all costs involved with buying a home. There are so many factors to consider when buying a home, and the thought of finally putting down some roots can be intimidating.
Knowing your credit score is one of the first things you should figure out before buying a home. This score plays a major factor into whether or not you will be preapproved for a loan. Utilize your right to free annual credit scores and fix any problems you may find.
Having a pre-approval letter in hand makes it much easier to seal the deal when buying a home. Shop around and see who has the best reputation and the lowest rates and get yourself pre-approved so you can close on a property quickly and efficiently.
This is not the same as what the bank says you can afford! Remember banks are businesses and may not have your best interests in mind. You need to do you. After tallying all necessary expenses, what can you truly afford without stretching yourself too thinly? Be honest with yourself! The last thing you want to do is set yourself up for unneeded financial hardships.
A large sum of upfront costs come into play when buying a home. An initial earnest money deposit, down payments based on a certain percentages, home inspections, appraisals, home warranties, termite bonds, and attorney closing costs will all need to be calculated into what you can truly afford vs. what you hope you can afford.
Keep surprises at bay! Make yourself aware of any recurring monthly fees that are required after buying a home. Mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI), homeowner’s association fees (HOA), utilities set-up and monthly fees, and maintenance services should all be calculated before buying a home.
Understand the home you purchase should fit your needs for several years to come. Make a list of your absolute deal breakers first, the items that you must have in order to even consider a property, then figure out what’s negotiable. Do you need 4 bedrooms or will 3 suffice? Can you survive without a fireplace? Will you eventually get a dog who needs a backyard? Should school districts be a priority?
The answer to this question is so simple, but it plays a huge role in buying a home! Whether or not you’re handy will help you decide if you need to buy a home that’s a fixer upper or if you need a move-in ready or new construction home.
If you don’t like to garden or do yard work consider purchasing a townhome, condo, or a home with lawn maintenance included in the HOA. That way you won’t have to worry about it! If a house is a must-have, make sure to factor yard maintenance fees into the monthly costs mentioned above. You don’t want a fine from the HOA because of the state of your flower beds!
An inventory of tools, drills, ladders, lawn mowers, pruning shears, storm equipment, water hoses, rakes, and other home improvement items should be completed before buying a home and the purchase price should be added into the up front costs.
Asking yourself the questions above and taking the time to answer them truthfully will help you decide whether or not you’re truly ready to buy a home.
The real estate market is saturated with real estate agents looking for your business so make sure to do your due diligence. Be careful and hire a firm like Gatehouse Realty, LLC. who honestly has your best interest at heart. Hiring an experienced REALTOR® will make the entire process of buying a home as stress free and easy as possible.