Congratulations! You are buying a home. It’s an exciting time for you! Swisher Residential, and our experts, are here to make the process as smooth as possible.
Here are five essential tips for to help you have the best home buying experience that you’ve ever had.
GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER
Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. You are entitle to one free credit report per year from each credit reporting agency. Apply for yours at www.freeannualcreditreport.com. It is estimated that a good 79% of credit reports have errors on them. Make sure the facts are correct, and correct any problems you find.
Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.
FIND A HOUSE YOU CAN AFFORD
As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to home buying: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to listings and resources, many aspects of the home buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.
THINK LONG TERM
Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.
Have questions about the home buying process or looking for a local agent? Contact us today!