Being as prepared as possible and as knowledgeable as possible will help to ensure your home buying venture is a successful and well-priced one. Before you even begin searching for homes there are some good things to know and do.
Here are 5 Things to DO Before You Begin a Home Search
Know What You Want/Need
Before looking for a new home it is a good idea to narrow down what you are looking for in your next home. If you just go at a home search from a budget and neighborhood standpoint it can become very quickly overwhelming. Make sure you have a solid idea of what you want and need in your next home. Write a list of these things in columns titled: needs/must-haves, wants, dreams. This will help you to determine what you can’t compromise on in your next home and items that may be nice to have but you can live without when other factors are just right.
Know Your Budget
Before even looking online and beginning to dream about your next home, take the time to apply for a mortgage. This will help to keep you from being disappointed if you fall in love with a home that a bank will not loan you money for. It also helps a buyer to make a strong offer on a home when they can provide pre-approval paperwork with the offer contract.
Make sure that you also go over your personal finances and expenses for day-to-day life and determine what an actual comfortable monthly home payment would be. Bank’s will sometimes lend more than you were expecting, but the monthly price can work out to be above a comfortable one that would make future life stressful.
Hire an Expert Agent
One of the most successful things you can do in-home hunting is to hire a professional real estate agent with plenty of experience in the local market. They will be able to save you many hours in home searching, can help you determine if your dreams meet your budget, and may even be able to find homes for sale you would never have found. A real estate agent is also a key professional in the negotiation process and helping to make a solid purchase offer.
Know a Bit About the Current Market
It is smart to have a basic understanding of what is currently happening as far as home sales are concerned where you plan to live. Some people begin shopping for houses and are unware of what to expect in pricing and the amount of competition to expect from other buyers. Right now it is especially important to know that house prices are rising due to a highly competitive sellers’ market. In many areas homes are selling in mere hours while others are being listed for a lower price in hopes of beginning a bidding war and the waiving of contract contingencies. The expert agent you hired can help you to navigate what the current state of affairs on real estate is in your area.
Do Your Homework on the Neighborhood
Some neighborhoods are more popular than others and some come with desirable and gorgeous surroundings. Knowing that people want to live there and that it looks nice is not a solid foundation for knowing you will like living there. When you think you have a neighborhood picked out do some extensive research on it first. What are the schools like if you have kids? Read reviews written by parents do not just go off of ratings. Are there things in the neighborhood you can see yourself doing? How long does it take to get to work? Visit at different times of day to get a feel for local traffic. Are there people out and about walking around or does it seem like everyone just keeps to themselves? Which would you prefer? Think about what you enjoy in your current lifestyle and things you dream of doing in your new neighborhood. In reality, does this neighborhood have those things?