1. Know How Much Home You Can Afford: Get Pre-Approved.
it always helps to research your mortgage and home loan options prior to beginning your home search. You will avoid a lot of frustration and aggravation by understanding what how much home you can afford BEFORE you start looking at potential homes to buy. In fact, many sellers will not accept offers from buyers unless they have been pre-approved for a mortgage first. Remember; knowledge is power. The more you know prior to searching for properties and making offers, the better chance you have at finding the right home at the right price for you.
2. All Real Estate Agents Are NOT the Same.
Purchasing a home will be one of the largest single purchases you will make in your lifetime. Too many buyers assume that all real estate agents are the same. This is not remotely close to the truth. Do you homework and research the agent and ask questions about their experience and success. You need to find a real estate agent who understands what you are looking for in a property BEFORE you begin your search.
3. Have Money Set Aside for Closing Costs and a Downpayment.
Even if you have a no money down loan or seller concessions with closing costs, you’re still going to have costs. Be prepared for them. Home inspections, termite inspections, etc. will still need to be done and cost money. Also, if you wish to avoid the additional cost of PMI, you may be required to put more cash down at closing. At the very least, think past the closing and prepare for the little things that may need to be repaired or the purchase of yard equipment, pool equipment, remodeling. Just take a page from the Boy Scouts and Be Prepared.
4. Have the Home Inspected Before Closing.
Again, this will be one of the largest single purchases you will make in your life. Protect yourself and get a home inspection on the property before you close on a home. A home inspection from a certified home inspector will inform you of the current condition of the home and make you aware of any future issues that may arise. If the inspection does discover issues with the property, you can request the seller cure the issue(s) before agreeing to close or in some cases, walk away from the transaction if you deem the issues to great. In other words, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. .
5. Do Your Homework.
Let’s face it, the more you educate yourself now; the less surprises you have in the future. Research where you want to live. Look at community plans, tax records, crime rates, school zones, etc. Yes, the seller does need to disclose certain things about the property and community but use that information to supplement your own research. You will feel more confident in your decisions and what you know may very well benefit you when negotiating price. Knowledge is power.
6. Know Your Credit Score and History.
It’s not rocket science; the better your credit is, the easier it will be for you to get a loan and buy a home. Know your credit score and history.You can do this by ordering your credit report and reviewing it for any discrepencies. If there are issues with your credit, don’t be discouraged. Many issues can be resolved with just a little work and understanding of what they are. Yes, some credit issues may not be readily resolvable, such as a bankruptcy or foreclosure within the past 10 years but there are still things you can do to make yourself look better in the eyes of lenders. A MORTGAGE LENDER may be able to provide you with ideas to help improve or even re-build your credit if needed.