It’s no secret that the home buying process is an emotional one, with more ups and downs than an office elevator on a Monday morning. It helps to know what you’re getting into and have the knowledge that will help you combat the confusion and successfully make it through to a new home. Here are our 5 top tips for homebuying.
- Plan Ahead. It’s important that you get all of your ducks in a row before you dive into the process. List out all of your needs and wants for a new home and plan what it’s going to take for you to get there. Interview and hire a real estate agent and lender, work on getting pre-approved, create a budget, and then work on scheduling when you’ll be able to visit houses. Staying organized and on top of the process early on will help you from getting tangled up in everything later.
- Consider Your Safety. Researching a neighborhood before you chose to move is always important, but even more so if you’re concerned about your safety. Look up the area’s crime rate, talk to the police and the people who live in the area if you have questions, and drive around the area in the evening to see what the activity levels and street lighting are like.
- Don’t Waste Time. If you’ve found a good real estate agent, chances are they won’t be sending you to random open houses and will instead be weeding through listings to find houses that suit your needs. Take your agent’s advice and try not get hung up on little things that could distract you from what it is you’re really looking for. At the same time, don’t try to rush the process. This is a big decision and it should not be taken lightly.
- Prepare Your Pennies. You’ve talked to your mortgage lender about your budget and your down payment, but there are other closing costs you need to make sure you’re aware of. You’ll be required to pay inspection fees, taxes, and insurance fees at closing so make sure you plan ahead. Also talk to your lender about your monthly mortgage payments as more goes into that than just the principle mortgage payment. Make sure you’re aware that your monthly payment will also include interest, taxes, and insurance.
- Work With People You Can Trust. Ask advice from the people you know at any point in the process. Look to your friends and family for professional recommendations to help you find your real estate agent and your lender, but also do your own research. Read reviews and talk with various professionals to find someone that you think you’ll easily be able to work with and who will make the home buying process a painless and understandable one.