Tip #1: Evaluate your financial position.
Regardless of what the market says, you need to determine if now is the right time for YOU to buy a home. Know what you can afford – this is much more than just the home’s asking price. Consult a professional to get a complete picture of the expected expenses, how much you should borrow and how much cash you should have up front. While there are loans available for less than 20% down payment, it is advisable to save that amount first. Consult your agent for referrals on financial planning professionals who can help you get into prime position for buying a home.
Tip #2: Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Obtaining a copy of your credit report, ensuring there are no errors, and applying for mortgage pre-approval is one of the smartest early steps you can take as a home buyer. Be sure to ask potential lenders about total costs to you at closing. The mortgage process can be slow and full of frustrating surprises. Arm yourself early. This process will also ensure that you don’t end up looking at homes outside your price range.
Tip #3: Hire experts.
Buying a home is not the time to put on your DIY hat and play expert. The real estate market is fraught with confusing legalities, regulations and negotiations. Hiring a qualified real estate agent should be step one on your list. You may also want to hire a real estate attorney. Your agent can arrange professionals to conduct home appraisals and home inspections.
Tip #4: Review comps.
Your real estate agent will supply with a list of comps. These pricing comparisons will determine what similar homes have sold for in the area where you’re looking. This will enable you to make a fair offer, and increase your chances of having your offer accepted.
Tip #5. Ask questions.
One of the major benefits to hiring an agent is that you don’t have to go it alone, don’t have to second guess everything, and don’t have to rely on your own potentially faulty research. Ask questions every step of the way. At CENTURY 21 NorthBay Alliance, we are committed to helping you understand your position as a home buyer, not just finding you a great home.