The last thing you want to do is buy a home and make a ton of mistakes. Nobody wants to do things the wrong way only to learn later there was a better way to do something. If you’re planning on buying a house and even if this is your second, third or even fourth time buying, you may be doing a little bit of research in order to make the best decision, be informed, and be confident about your buying decision later on.
Here are some easy ways to be an effective homebuyer.
#1. Know what you want before you look.
This might sound obvious but you’d be surprised at how many people just blindly look at homes, set up appointments, and really think they know what they want. Make some notes about what you love about the home you have now and things that you hate. Be specific; my don’t how many bedrooms, bathrooms and the size that you want. Remember, bigger isn’t always better. Many people are downsizing these days to simply make their lives easier. If you live in 1500 ft.² now, remember that 2000 ft.² means that you have 500 ft.² more to clean. Think about the rooms you actually use now and if you would benefit from having extra space or less space in your next house. Think about the neighborhoods, commute times, close proximity to schools, markets, restaurants or parks. Make some specific notes and then narrow your search down to those specifics and see if anything pops up.
#2. Be financially ready before looking at homes.
One of the worst things that homebuyers can do is make an offer on a home they are not financially prepared to maintain. If you have no idea how much money you can afford with a monthly mortgage payment it’s best to sit down with a lender first and get a letter of preapproval. This letter will state exactly how much your budget can afford and how much maximum you should be looking at buying. Remember, you don’t always have to max out that budget either. It’s good to have a little bit of cushion for emergencies and reserve funds.
#3. Understand how the negotiating and buying process works.
Have your own buyers agent that will help you purchase the property. Using the listing agent of the home you are purchasing means that your needs, terms, price and confidential financial information will not be the top priority. The top priority for that agent is to sell that particular house. It’s important to have your own representation when purchasing property. This agent negotiates only for you and explains information in a way that’s clear, concise and to your benefit.
#4. Be unemotional and reasonable.
When your emotions get too wrapped up in either the buying or negotiating phases you can neglect the real purpose of the goal you’re trying to achieve. Remember, you want a house that you love and feel comfortable with for years to come. If you’re insulted by counteroffers, you get too emotional when something doesn’t go right, or you’re in it to win it at all costs, you may find yourself gravely disappointed later on. Try to keep your emotions at bay and talk to your real estate agent about the best way to negotiate keep your emotions in check.
We want you to be an effective homebuyer but more importantly, we also want you to be confident about your purchase a year from now, five years from now or however long you choose to keep the home. To get started on any of these steps contact our office today. We’d love to help point you in the right direction to get started on the home buying process.