You will often hear how exciting it is to buy a home, but it’s rarely discussed that the entire experience can sometimes feel overwhelming; you’re making a large investment up front for the down payment, with a lifetime commitment attached. However, buying a home is a fantastic step, and when you’re prepared, it can be exciting and fruitful. The good news is that an experienced real estate agent will inform and advise you as you go through the process. There are also many additional tips you can take in advance to further ensure a hassle-free home purchase.
1. Determine Your Wants and Needs
Before you start looking at homes for sale, you need to determine your wants and needs. Start a list and carefully assess the kind of home you’re interested in, features it must have, and additional amenities that you could live without if the budget calls for cutting. Be as specific as you can so you can find homes for sale that meet your particular requirements.
2. Determine Your Budget
The most important consideration when buying a home is the budget, as it determines your overall direction; establish a budget and stay inside of it. In order to determine a realistic one, consider more than just the monthly house payments you’re able to make. Maintenance, repair, and unexpected costs are inevitable when becoming a homeowner. Monthly mortgage payments should not exceed approximately 28% of your monthly income. Additionally, now is the perfect time to shop around for house insurance to ensure you can afford the rates available to you.
3. Get a Pre-Approval from a Lender
There’s nothing worse than finding your dream home, only to be declined for a mortgage loan from a lender. Save yourself the time, effort, and heartache by getting a pre-approval prior to looking at the homes for sale. Lenders can also help you determine what loan programs are best for you and what you can do to ensure you get qualified for that loan. More importantly, they can inform you if you qualify for the loan amount you want.
4. Find the Best Real Estate Agent for You
It’s highly recommended to not only find a good real estate agent but to focus on someone who suits your specific needs. Many real estate agents specialize in certain areas, such as specific neighborhoods, types of homes, and more. Interview at least three real estate agents, and you should be able to determine which one aligns with your requirements. Their schedule and availability should also coincide with yours to ensure a positive working relationship.
5. Look at Several Homes for Sale
Once you start looking at homes for sale, it can be tempting to put an offer on the first home you like. However, to ensure a hassle-free home purchase, you should take the time to look at several houses before you buy one. Write down comments about the different homes you see, and keep track of what you liked and didn’t like. Consider the different neighborhoods and communicate your opinions to your real estate agent so they can re-adjust the property listings they show to you.
Once you find a home that takes your breath away, meets your requirements, and is within your budget, it’s time to place an offer. Luckily, with your prep work done, you’ll find the process smoother to navigate with less stress!