9 Steps Guide to Buyer a Home | Useful Tips for Getting Prepared


Home for the holidays: A nine-step guide to buying – News – The Concord Journal – Concord, MA

Buying a home can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. It is the foundation of the American dream and something many of us strive for. However, buying a house is a serious undertaking, and one you want to be sure you are prepared for. Here are some tips to keep your home buying experience from becoming a nightmare.

1. Get pre-approved – make sure you know how much house you can afford. Your time is valuable; don’t waste your time or the seller’s, looking at houses you may not be qualified for. Getting pre-approved helps you put together a realistic list of properties to choose from.

2. Know the total costs involved. Once you get prequalified, make sure your mortgage specialist explains all the costs associated with buying a house. Especially out-of-pocket expenses, such as the down payment. Also, there will be closing costs as well. If you are qualified for a $300,000 loan and you buy a $300,000 house, the closing costs are above and beyond the cost of the loan, and you will have to pay them out of pocket. You will also need to factor in costs for the home inspections and real estate attorney.

3. Have an eye to the future. When you are looking for that perfect house, what fits today may not fit in a few years. Make sure you choose a house that you can grow with. That little bungalow may be wonderful as newlyweds, but it can get awfully crowded once the babies start coming.

4. Home inspections – absolutely. You may be thinking, “I could save a few bucks by skipping on the home inspection,” but that would be a fatal mistake. Home inspectors are specially trained to find defects that are much deeper than cosmetic. They will alert you to serious structural defects that can end up costing you thousands of dollars down the road and can seriously hamper your ability to sell later. Remember, information is power.

5. Don’t put too much faith in online home values. We have become a do-it-yourself nation when it comes to the Internet, and it’s no different when it comes to buying a house. Websites such as Zillow and Trulia may seem like a great tool to search houses, but they can give buyers a false sense of home values. You need to work with a realtor who truly understands the local market that you want to buy in.

6. Don’t put the car before the home. Your debt-to-income ratio is one of the first things lenders look at when determining if and how much you qualify for and your ability to make your mortgage payments. Make sure your finances are in order; you have a history of good credit practices and saving.

7. Don’t hold out for the perfect house. Don’t let the right house slip by while you were looking for the perfect house. When you are searching for a home, you want to look at as many houses as you can and then eliminate the ones that don’t fit. Houses are always coming on the market, so always remain open. You can ask your real estate agent for a comparative market analysis. This will show you homes that have recently sold or are still for sale.

8. Know that you are buying more than just the house. Make sure you have a list of concerns and questions prepared for your realtor for each property. Ask about costs of utilities, crime rates and any environmental concerns. If you have children, you will want to know about the schools. Ask about any potential re-zoning that may occur; you don’t want to end up with a McDonalds in your backyard.

9. Stay in constant contact with your real estate agent. The housing market is fluid and ever-changing. Make sure your realtor has a reliable means to get a hold of you. They need to be able to respond quickly to meet your needs. It would be a shame if you lost your dream house because you waited too long to call your agent back.


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