Are you thinking of buying a new home? Try out these handy tips and tricks directly from real estate professionals to help you find exactly what you’re looking for and how to be prepared:
#1: Know Your Budget and Stick To It
One of the most important parts of buying a home is being able to know your limits when it comes to spending. If you set the limit at 200K, don’t budge unless you’re absolutely sure you’ll be able to swing it. The best way to get a head start on this is by saving up at least 2 years in advance, accounting for down payments, closing costs and move-in expenses.
#2: Don’t Forget Your Credit Score
With the hubbub of searching and saving, things like your credit score can fall to the wayside. It’s imperative that this remains close to the top of your list as it will be checked to see if you qualify for a mortgage or loan. The best ways to keep your credit in check are by paying bills on time and keeping credit card balances low. If you’re considering closing a credit card, wait until after the move! Closing your account will increase the amount of credit available to you, so even if it’s just $5, keep the account open for the time being.
#3: Not Your Mother’s Mortgage Options
There are all sorts of different mortgages available these days, nothing like the housing market of the 80’s and 90’s. Today there are varying down payment options, eligibility requirements and mortgage terms, which means it’s important to shop around for what’s right for you. Comparing the mortgage rates and fees can be especially daunting, but if you research first-time homebuyer loans and get a preapproval letter, it’ll relieve some of that stress.
#4: Choosing The Right Agent
Finding the right real estate agent is a bit like dating: you should try a few out before settling on one. When searching for your agent, always look at things like their references, reviews from other buyers and their track record of sales. They should be willing to go the extra mile for you when it comes time to put a down payment or haggle on the price of the home. There is also a difference between realtors and real estate agents, the difference being that agents have the standard licenses and realtors have some extra training and licensing hoops to jump through. Both can get you into the perfect home regardless!
#5: Choosing The Right Home
When it comes to your new home, you no doubt have a long list of must haves and no-no’s that you’re sticking to pretty closely. It’s important to have these lists so you know what you’re looking for and what to rule out when it comes time to attend open houses. Whether that’s having a breakfast nook, built-in fireplace or new appliances, it’s always worth it to do some research to ensure you’re not going to be blindsided when you tour the home.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading these tips & tricks, good luck with your house hunt (and if you need any help, please feel free to give Castles Unlimited a call!).