Buying a home can be one of the best but confusing times of your life. The process can sometimes be frustrating, but if you prepare before you begin the process, you can go through the journey of buying a home with ease. These tips will provide you with tools to guide you along with the joy of home buying and owning your first home.
#1 Get your credit score in check
Your credit is a significant part of not only an easy preapproval but also ensures that you will get the best interest rate available. Most people don’t think about how crucial this step is when searching for a loan. A low credit score can make banks either view you as an undesirable candidate or one that would have foreseeable financial issues in the future. To put your pockets and the bank at ease, clear up any negative items on your credit and do some research on ways to raise your score to 750. Make sure to keep your balances low on your credit cards and pay the payments on your revolving credit items on time.
#2 Get preapproved before you speak with a realtor
Realtors work on commission, so their time is precious to them. Your realtor will be the person who will fight for your best interest, so you want to make sure to be prepared before you send them into battle. It’s frustrating for them to spend their time and efforts to find that perfect home for you and find out you haven’t made the first step in the process. It will be frustrating for you as well to find your dream home and have it snatched from you because you haven’t solidified the funds to put down an offer.
#3 Location, location, location!
Do your extensive research on the area you want to live in before you start looking for that perfect home. The list of homes within your budget with everything you want can yield hundreds of homes, and there will be a few that you fall in love with esthetically. They might have all the features that you have dreamed of in a house, but the neighborhood might be less than desirable or even dangerous. Make sure you check the crime rate, county taxes, school systems, even utility companies in that area. It’s also important to check the traffic and navigate your trip to and from work, so you know what your day to day drive reality will be. Lastly, drive the area of the home at different times of the day, several different times of the week. You might visit the area in the morning, and it is seemingly peaceful and safe and return in the evening to find the dynamic of the neighborhood turns into a scene from your favorite crime television show.
#4. If you love it…Don’t wait
You found it, the perfect first home! Instead of immediately putting in an offer, you decide to think about it for a few days only to find out that it is now under contract the next morning. Hearing this news can be a devastating and crushing situation that is easily avoidable by researching your ideal area before you begin your search. You can then set alerts on the homebuying websites you are searching for the features of your ideal home. After you visit the home and decide it’s the one for you, let your realtor know to put an offer in on that home to start the process.
#5. Get a second opinion.
Before you sign your name on that dotted line, hire a home inspector to check the home. The selling realtor won’t inform you that the home has a hidden mold problem or termites that will lead to you hemorrhaging money in the future, which can make your dream home a nightmare. Your home is not just a place to lay your head and store your prized possessions, and it’s also an investment that will appreciate it. A home that is seemingly an excellent deal now could cost you a fortune in the future, so make sure you use all the tools available to you to protect your most expensive asset.