First Time Home Buyer or Seasoned "Pro" - Your Investment is in YOU and YOUR FAMILY
Renting a home is often less than perfect, and tenants usually experience a rent increase every year or so and feel somewhat at the mercy of the owner. They don't necessarily feel a strong commitment to the property or the community.
Making a decision to buy a house is a major commitment, and the decision has both economic and emotional implications. Instead of paying the landlord's mortgage every month, homeowners pay their own mortgage and build up equity in their investment. When they paint, plant flowers or make improvements, their family reaps the benefits of a more beautiful environment. Homeowners are much more selective than renters about finding the perfect home, and their sense of personal satisfaction heightens the pride of ownership.
Tips For Buyers
No one wants buyer's remorse; that feeling that you've either paid too much or received too little. In most cases, there is no way for the buyer to fix an error once the contract has been signed.
The best way to make sure that you choose the right home is to properly prepare yourself. The purchase of a home is a tremendous investment, both monetarily and emotionally. I focus on selling and listing homes in communities that I know well, so that when you work with me you become connected to your new home and neighborhood faster. But before we begin together, let me give you some practical tips that will help your purchase progress smoothly.
- Get help. Your home is likely to represent one of the largest investments in your life. In order to make sure that the transaction goes smoothly it is of vital importance that you choose the right agent to represent your interests. The right agent will be someone whose experience and personality makes you feel comfortable. You should try to find an agent that is familiar and knowledgeable about the area you plan to move into.
- Get pre-approved. Do you already know how much home you can afford? There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a home, finding the perfect home, and then discovering that it is out of your price range. Speak with a lender to learn about the different financing options available to you. When you find the right lender get the paperwork processed so that you will be ready to buy when you find the right home.
- Avoid major purchases. In order to determine the amount of home you can afford a lender uses your debt-to-income ratio. This ratio is the percentage of your pre-tax income that you spend on debt. Your debt ratio will include: monthly housing costs, car payments, credit cards, student loans, and any other installment debt. If you take on more debt right before buying a home it is going to have an impact on the amount of the loan that the lender will finance.
- Get the Whole Picture. In order to make an educated decision you need to know what is available and how much it is going for. You can browse all the active listings from my website. Once you have found some homes you like, save those searches and sign up so that new listings will be emailed to you. The best homes move fast so you need to make sure that you are on top of the available inventory at all times so you do not miss out.
- Ask Questions. No one knows the home better than the seller of the property; however it is not always in the seller's best interest to disclose all the information. If you find out the seller's motivation for selling you might be able to negotiate a better deal on the home. Try to find out the last time service was performed on the roof, furnace, and water heating. Asking the right questions now can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
- Get Inspected. The last thing you want to discover after you have bought a home is that you have purchased a "money pit". By "money pit" I am referring to a home that is full of defects that are going to end up costing you a lot of money. Save yourself a lot of time in future litigation and renovation by bringing in a licensed home inspector before you buy. If any problems are found it will steer you away from a bad decision or help you negotiate a better price.
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