You may have done your house-buying homework regarding down payments and the home-buying process, but you can always use a few extra tips and tricks. Empower yourself as a buyer; enhance your home-buying experience by opening your mind to all the beautiful and not so pleasant experiences along the way. Here are some tips for first-time home buyers.
Don’t Get Emotionally Involved
Buying real estate is probably one of the most emotional experiences an American can have. There’s a lot riding on your ideals of homeownership; you’ve waited a long time. You’ve sacrificed to save for your down payment. All of your daydreams have been focused in this one direction; you’re so close you can taste it. Now you’re imagining yourself watching movies in the living room, fixing meals in the kitchen, making memories. But a lot can happen in real estate that adds fuel to those emotional fires and it’s important you remain grounded.
Don’t Run Before You Walk
There is a logical order to the home buying process. The order is: prepare your credit, polish your debt-to-income ratio. Save for down payment, closing costs, taxes, and other expenses. Get pre-approved for your home mortgage loan. Contact a real estate agent. Shop for properties. Make an offer.
Taking any one of those things out of order could tragically misguide the trajectory of your course. Do not get impatient and try to short-cut your way into a house. You’ll only frustrate yourself (as well as the agents, sellers, lenders, etc.).
Don’t Attach to Any Properties
Having your offer accepted by a seller is wonderful cause for celebration, but not cause to get your hopes up. There are a million things or more that could happen between the time your offer was accepted and the time you’re scheduled to close that could destroy and nullify the transaction. Be excited, but also be aware that at any given moment you may find yourself back at square one shopping for houses.
Be Realistic. Daydreams are Free; Houses Aren’t.
Your imagination has furnished your new home with wood floors, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a garden tub in a luxurious bathroom attached to your master suite. The problem is, your pocket book might not match up to your imagination, which means you could find yourself seriously disappointed when you realize what price point in which you’ll be shopping and what that means for how much house comes for the money.
Remember, this is a starter home. You have room to grow. You can expand, build on, tear down, paint over. And, eventually, when you’re ready, you can upsize to a new space. It’s not mandatory that you have everything right now. Don’t worry about the bells and whistles.
Ask; Don’t Assume
One of the biggest unpleasant surprises to unsuspecting home buyers is when they move into their new home and realize half of what they thought should be there is missing. For example, the oven and refrigerator are gone. The light fixtures are absent. While the new homeowner feels they’ve been done wrong, there’s been no crime. These items were detailed in the contract, but in a way the buyer didn’t suspect.
Ask: Does this stove come with the house?
Notice the word “this”. It’s specific to a brand, a color, a model number. Note those.
Ask: Does that chandelier come in the dining room of the house?
Although a light fitting is installed in the dining room, the fixture – the cover, the decorative aspect, is considered personal property of the owner and does not transfer with ownership of the home unless specified.
Be patient. It takes way longer than you imagine.
From the moment you decide you’re ready to buy and have solid numbers to substantiate your goals, you could be about 90-120 days out from having your house key in your hand. Your home loan process takes time, as it does to find the right agent, tour homes, negotiate offers, and then go through all the processes. Once your offer has been accepted your house must be inspected, appraised, surveyed, and prepared, all of which takes time. Remember, even during this part, deal-breakers can happen, so hold strong to a non-biased position as much as you can.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Brock Realty a call today at 941-313-1234 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.