Happy New Year! If 2014 is the year you are planning on buying a home, we we have 14 tips to make the home buying process a little easier.
Before You Look
1. Get Pre-approved: Getting pre-approved will not only help determine what you can afford, it will also help when you are ready to make an offer.
2. Get professional help: Use an experienced agent, who will have your best interests at heart and who can help in the negotiating process.
3. Don’t try to time the market: Trying to anticipate the housing market is nearly impossible. The best time for you is when you’ve found your dream house in a price you can afford.
4. Get to know the neighborhood: This is the fun part! Get to know the area. Where the shops are, drive through the streets, look at the schools, even if you don’t have kids.
While You’re Looking
5. Be prepared: Download our free app. Explore neighborhoods, find your agent, search for homes all while on the go!
6. Floor plans that work for you: Think about what type of floor plan works best for you and your family. Open spaces? One or two levels? A big yard? Being clear on what you are looking for will help your real estate agent find that perfect home.
7. Choose the right location: Do you want to be downtown, in the suburbs, near work? Are schools an important factor? Choosing the right location will ensure your long-term happiness in your home.
8. Storage space?: While looking for a home, many people might get caught up in the amazing kitchen or the views, but be sure to think about how much storage you might need. If you are a budding gourmet, be sure there is enough cabinet space for all of your cooking gadgets.
9. Bigger isn’t always better: Buying a home that meets all of your needs doesn’t have to be the biggest, it just has to be the best.
You Found It!
10. Do your homework before making an offer: Look at similar homes in the area in the past three months to see what the trends are.
11. Start with a fair offer: Your offer should be based on similar homes sold in the neighborhood in the last three months. Your real estate professional can guide you in the process.
12. Hire a home inspector: Using a respected home inspector will find potential problems in the house that could cost you down the road.
13. Get an appraisal: Lenders use this to determine the amount of your loan. You are also legally entitled to a copy of it.
14. Be flexible and enjoy the process!: Buying a home can be stressful, but remembering to be flexible in your expectations and working with an experience realtor who knows the process well will really help in your overall home buying experience.