Like I’ve said many times before, the purchase of your new home may be one of the biggest sales of your life. Whether you are a first time home buyer or have done your fair share of real estate transactions, there are always ways to make the process as easy and smooth as possible. Follow these tips and you’ll save the stress and money when you’re ready to buy your ideal home!
1. DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP
You think you’ve found the perfect home but it’s ridiculously out of your price range. Don’t get stuck on an idea when you can brainstorm and find several homes that you can see yourself in. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to buying a home. There’s no such thing as perfect! When you factor in things like price, commute, neighborhoods, schools, etc. every home has it’s share of advantages so try to narrow your search to a few homes you love instead of falling for one that you may end up paying too much for. Remember, you buy the house but you make it a home!
2. ASK FOR HELP AND YOU’LL HAVE BETTER OPTIONS
It’s so easy to hop on the web and browse some open houses on the weekends in order to get started on the house hunt. You can find resources right at your fingertips but as a someone who is not familiar in all things real estate, you might have trouble finding exactly what you are looking for. Connecting with a real estate agent will give you the inside scoop on homes that you wouldn’t have found otherwise because they are in the “know.” This means having access to the MLS (multiple listing service), knowing about houses before they are on the market, and finding the perfect neighborhood for your lifestyle. Get expert advice and talk to someone who knows what they are doing!
3. BUILD YOUR OWN TEAM
The dynamic between a buyer and seller is all about finding balance. But each side has their own agenda. The buyer wants a low price and the seller wants the most profit. If you are buying a home, find your own representation. This means avoid going to a listing agent (who represents the seller) to help you because their interest is in getting the home sold and getting the best price for the seller. Work with a buyer’s agent and have someone on your side that will help you negotiate a sale so you aren’t paying over price.
4. READ THE FINE PRINT
There is a mountain of paperwork that comes with real estate transactions. Be sure you know exactly what you are signing and if you don’t understand, ASK! There are many people, including your agent, that will happily clarify for you because they have done this time and time again. When all is said and done and you are a homeowner, there are still some deed restrictions you need to abide by. This means you may not be able to add another story or renovate your backyard or follow through with plans you decided before you bought the home. Even as a homeowner, there are rules you need to follow so make sure you are aware of them by making copies and keeping them in your records.
5. SAVE ENOUGH AND THEN SOME
This is the biggest transaction of your life, so of course that means you’ll be spending a pretty penny because homes are expensive! Don’t just save enough for a down payment, there’s a lot more to it! The cost of a real estate transaction includes items that must be paid for including closing costs, inspections, appraisals, and taxes. All this on top of the down payment (which is 20% of the asking price) will cover the sale of your home. It’s a good idea to have 2 to 3 months worth of mortgage payments in reserve so you do not have to worry about the financial shock of being a homeowner. This acts like a cushion! Once you are a homeowner, you are in charge of furnishing your home and obtaining household appliances which add to additional but necessary costs. In case of emergency, it’s also good to have 3 to 6 months of expenses for any unexpected accidents or repairs that need to be fixed. So in short, when you think you saved enough, save a little more. It’s always better to be prepared, then to be bombarded by expenses.