Buying A Home
Looking to buy a home?
As everyone knows, buying a property is not an impulse purchase; you can't just waltz in and declare "I'll take it!" Long before you get to making that offer (on paper, through your real estate agent)—and even before going to your first open house—there are a ton of things to do and to prepare. Overwhelmed? Here's a checklist of everything you need to do to get ready to buy a property.
Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a property.
While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after property that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the property you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are serious about buying a property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
List of Needs & Wants
Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for your first time buying a property, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
Representation by a professional
Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
Focus & Organization
In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your property.
- A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
- Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
- Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
- Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?
Visualize the property empty & with your decor
Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:
- Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
- Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
- You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
What will get you the most “bang for your buck?” Are there “throwaway” (i.e., free) real estate publications in your area that accept ads from individual sellers? In the local paper(s), is it better (in your area) to run a text-only classified, or do they have “photo boxes” where you can run both text and a photo of your property?
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.
Are you interested in buying a property?
Let me help navigate you through the various stages of buying a property.