Tips For Buyers
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. The purpose of this page is to in provide you with some tips that will help your transaction progress smoothly and result in you being a happy homeowner.
Remember, if you have any questions I am always just a phone call or email away.
- Get help. Your home is probably one of the largest investments in your life. Make sure 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 Informed. There are a lot of resources available to help you choose the right neighborhood before you go looking for the right home: school data from the state or other resources; crime reports from local police departments; demographic data from the Census Bureau.
- 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 mortgage professional early in the process 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. As for the other part of the "debt-to-income ratio," make sure you don't do anything to put your income at risk.
- Sign up for Property Watch. In order to make an educated decision you need to know what is available and how much it is going for. Go ahead and browse all the active listings from my website. Once you have found some homes you like save those searches and sign up for property watch so that new listings will be emailed to you. Remember that many people might be looking for the same things you are, so make sure that you are on top of the available inventory 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": 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 and money 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.