Tips for Buyers

Purchasing a property is one of the biggest decisions in one’s lifetime. While often swayed by emotion—falling in love with a house at first sight—it’s prudent to take into consideration other factors. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

  • Before you start house hunting, determine how much house you can afford. If you don’t have a lender with whom you’re currently working, we can offer a few references that can provide pre-approval for your home purchase. Visit our mortgage calculator section to see how much home you can afford.
  • Upon pre-approval, do not make any major purchases, particularly a vehicle. If you do, it could significantly jeopardize your loan ability.
  • Prioritize what is most important and what is least important in a home. Make a list of everything you need and want in a home. Together, we will go over your list to understand exactly what you’re looking for. Here are some important elements to keep in mind:
    1. Location. The old saying “location•location•location” still holds true. You can have a beautiful home on a perfectly landscaped lot that makes your heart sing—but if it’s not in a good location, you may want to re-think.
    2. Floor Plan. This is significant. Ask yourself, “Is this floor plan geared toward a certain type of family? Does that type fit my family and my future goals? Does this floor plan have the flexibility for an addition? Is the space open and well thought out?”
    3. Landscaping. A home doesn’t need to have perfect landscaping; however, it should have potential. Many people buy a home without paying much attention to the lot, ending up with problems when selling it later because of poor potential.
    4. Community Amenities. Have you driven to the grocery store from the property? You might want to because the distance may surprise you. You may want to be in a nice and quiet area, but do you really want a trip to the mall to be an expedition? If you do, great. If not, check it out.
    5. Schools. This is a top reason people select a particular community. The school district you select is very important—even if you don’t have children. You may want children someday, or you might need to sell your home to a couple with children.
    6. Proximity to Major Roads. Again, do you want to be so far away from your work that you need to pack a lunch for the commute? True, living this far away from a job is common in certain areas of the country—but it doesn’t need to be the standard. Ask yourself, “Do I want to spend my off-hours at home or on the road?”
    7. Price. It isn’t all about price, but price always influences our decisions. Never overpay because you’re overexcited. Never underpay just because you think you’ve found a great deal. Deals that seem too good to be true usually are.
  • Take notes and/or photos as you preview each home.
  • When you do choose a home, make sure the home is structurally sound. If you don’t know of a good home inspector, we can provide you with a list of home inspectors from which to choose.
  • Once you’ve found the home you want, together we’ll complete a purchase and sale agreement. This is the contract in which the seller and the buyer outline the details of the property transfer.
  • Before closing, the closing agent (usually an escrow co., title co. or an attorney) will complete a thorough settlement statement for both buyer and seller.

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