If you’ve come to a point in your life where buying a house seems like the logical next step, I have five major keys that can prepare you for buying real estate. Simply jumping in blindly can lead to frustration and disappointment, but knowing the process, which includes everything you need to get started and how the transaction works, adds to the success of a real estate deal. Here are my five tips to preparing yourself for buying real estate.
1.) Know how much you can afford before looking at any homes. Sit down with your lender, mortgage officer or broker, bank or credit union to have a clear outlook of your finances and how much mortgage payment your budget can comfortably maintain each month. Lenders will look at your assets, liabilities, savings and income to determine the approximate amount of home you can afford. If you have no lender in mind currently, contact me. I can give you choices of GREAT lenders associated with my team.
2.) Use the help of a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent works solely for the buyer and not for the listing agent of any one particular home. Buyer’s agents cost nothing for homebuyers and they help negotiate on your behalf, answering any questions along the way.
3.) Know what you want in a house before looking at properties. Make a list of what criteria you need in a home and extra perks that would be nice. Are you looking for a home in a specific school district? A specific style or age of home? Within walking distance to daily necessities?
Read more: Should I buy now or wait until next year?
4.) Understand that the principal payment is not the only monthly fees you may incur. On top of the principal payment you’ll be making each month in a mortgage payment you’ll also have interest and potentially taxes and insurance. This can add several hundred dollars onto your monthly payment so make sure you understand all of the numbers that the lender is providing, before jumping into a home loan. As a homeowner, there are also monthly expenses that may be unexpected such as repairs, replacements or emergencies.
5.) Understand that the process before closing can take a while due to the amount of parties involved in a real estate transaction. If you’re buying a bank-owned home or a short sale it can take months to close. Typically, real estate transactions from an owner/seller take anywhere from 30 to 60 days. Try to be patient and realize that everyone is working to close the transaction on time.
If you’re ready and feel like you have prepared yourself in all of these steps, call me today for information on buying a home in the Northern Virginia or DC Area. You can start your online search here for FREE.