5 Tips for Buying a Home

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Looking to buy a new home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

1. Get your finances in order.

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. AND BY ALL MEANS DON’T MAKE ANY MAJOR CREDIT PURCHASES SUCH AS CARS !! It will affect your debt to income ratio and could affect your INTEREST RATE ! Wait until after you are settled into your new home and get a good feel fo ryour new bugdet before making any major purchases. 

2. Find a house you can afford.

As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

3. Hire a professional  (that would be us 🙂 ! 

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone.

4. Do your homework.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up “insulting” the seller and actually cost yourself money or miss out.

5. Think longer term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future. You might also like to consider a home warranty policy. These are things we can help with.