Tips for Buying a Home
Whether you've spent years saving and preparing to buy a home, or are unsure if you can afford it, the questions surrounding a house purchase can feel endless.
You can find the answers - and peace of mind - by working with a RE/MAX Realty Group associate. RE/MAX is the industry leader in experience and service.
Here are some tips to help you become your own landlord.
- Hire a real estate professional.
The first step is to select a professional to help you find your dream home and fine-tune your financial expectations. Working with a buyer's agent is worth consideration since he or she is legally responsible for representing the buyer's best interests in a real estate transaction. Before making a decision, however, have a Realtor explain the pros and cons of using a buyer's agent versus an agent working for the seller (sales) or dual agent. Your RE/MAX Realty Group associate can guide you through every step of the way during your home buying process. (to buying a home.)
- Shop for mortgage rates and terms.
A difference of even half a percentage point can make a huge difference in how much you pay over the life of a loan. For example, the difference in the monthly payment on a $100,000 mortgage at 8 percent vs. 7.5 percent is about $35 per month. Over 30 years, that's $12,600. Your RE/MAX Realty Group associate can help you locate a lender who will provide you with both excellent service and a competative interest rate.
- Prequalify for a loan.
Your third step should be to get preapproved, which determines how much you can afford. It allows you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers or competing offers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and really can afford to buy the property.
- Define what you want.
The next step is to create a realistic idea of the property you'd like to buy. What features are most important to you? Make two lists: 1) the items you can't live without and 2) the features you would enjoy. Refine the lists as you house hunt. It is also helpful (to search online) to see what is currently available on the market. To make it easy check out our New Listing Alert service. We will keep you posted when new listings come on the market that match your specific criteria. Your RE/MAX Realty Group professional can then show you properties that meet your expectations while providing you with valuable feedback and advice.
- Visit properties.
Now you're ready to see homes that match your wants and needs. Ask your RE/MAX Realty Group associate to arrange showings, and keep track of your favorites via our New Listing Alert service.
- Know the features that help or hurt resale.
In some areas, a swimming pool may enhance value while in others it may detract from a home's value making it more difficult to sell. Your RE/MAX Realty Group professional has the experience to be able to critique each of the properties you visit and help you identify features that may enhance or detract from resale value.
- Rate the houses you tour.
After touring each home, write down what you liked and didn't like. Develop a rating system that will help to narrow the field. For example, on your first day pick the house you like best and compare all other houses to it. When you find a better one, use the new favorite as the standard.
- Make an offer.
Once you've pinpointed your dream house, it's time to get serious about the financial and contractual side of the purchase. Your RE/MAX Realty Group associate brings an average of 20+ years of experience to your evaluation of the property, its value and what details should be included in your purchase offer. As your buyer's agent we would be representing your best interests and negotiate on your behalf.
- Arrange for home inspections.
Your RE/MAX Realty Group agent can make your offer conditioned on appropriate inspections and/or tests. We can then assist you in finding qualified inspectors. Depending on the results of the tests/inspections we can help to reach a meeting of the minds regarding any issues.
Before your closing date, make sure you've fulfilled any conditions of your mortgage commitment and have obtained homeowners insurance. Be sure to work closely with your attorney as they prepare the closing documents ie title, survey, deed, abstract required funds and motgage documents. Prior to closing be sure to coordinate a preclosing walk-through of the property and notify appropriate utilities that you wish to have service turned into your name as of the day of closing.