Kristy D’s Top 10 Tips for Buying a Home
1) Need vs. Want
Figure out what your really need from a house. From number of rooms, to quality of schools, to proximity to work. Put them in order of importance. Take notes when you are at each house so you know which ones meet your requirements. Anything you like about a house outside of your list is icing on the cake.
2) Set a Budget
Create a budget mapping out your income and spending. This will determine how much you are willing and able to spend on payments. It is fiscally responsible to allocate up to 1/3 of your monthly income for principle, interest and homeowners insurance and any fees associated with homeowner associations and maintenance costs.
3) Get Your Pre-Approval
Getting pre-approved before you begin looking for a house allows you not to waste time looking at houses you cannot afford and allows you to be a serious bidder when you find a house you love. Pre-approval is based on your income, credit history and debt.
4) The offer process
Making an offer is not an exact science but a few things are pertinent to take into account:
- How long the house has been on the market
- Number of available comparable properties in the area
- Contingencies such as financing and property inspection
- Negotiations will occur so leave your self some room financially
5) Know What You Are Signing
If you do not understand something then ask for further explanation. Double and triple check any numbers that are on the forms, you do not want problems down the road that could have been prevented with some meticulous reading.
6) Home inspection
Like an X-ray of your injured shoulder, it lets you know what is actually going on in the walls and under the floors. Paying for an inspector is an investment in your future. Before you spend a dime on the house, you need to know you are getting a quality product.
7) Buying in a Good School District is a Must
Even if you do not have school age children, when it comes time to sell, you will find that good schools are a top priority for many home buyers. Research has proven that higher quality schools have a dramatic effect on house prices.
Property taxes, points and interest paid on a mortgage can many times be deductions on your federal and state tax returns. Talk to an accountant to find out more about the rules that come with this kind of deductions.
9) Stay Put
If you are not ready to stay in one place for a few years then buying might not be for you at this time. Transaction costs involved with buying and selling may end up with you loosing money if you sell too soon. As a rule of thumb, you should live in your home at least 3 years before you consider selling.
10) Finding the Right Realtor
Just like wanting a doctor who does continuing education to stay up to date with the most current treatments in the medical field, you want a Realtor who knows everything there is to know about the real estate market. It is important you pick an experienced and trustworthy Realtor to help you make the right choice and show you value in a home that you might overlook on your own. Call Kristy Darragh, she has sold over 2,500 homes. She will know what to do. 813-931-6700