Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range.
With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally at no cost and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
List of Needs & Wants
Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). If you’re looking for a condominium you need think about, is this going to be a primary residence, second home or an investment property. Some condominium towers are more rental driven than others, knowing the condominium towers dynamics is a very important factor.
The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (location, amenities etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers or seasoned investors, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
Representation by a Professional
Always remember you’re hiring a realtor not a brand, it does not matter which real estate company they work for. What you’re looking for is the right agent.
Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller. When hiring a real estate agent treat it like a job interview and ask to see their resume. How long have they been selling real estate, are they a full-time real agent or part-time agent with another job? Are they a top agent for their area, how many transactions have they done? Get their history. Hiring the right real estate agent that knows the market and has a great resume. You need an agent that can guide you in the right direction, always willing to answer your call and that is totally committed.
Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a property, think with your head. Does this property really meet your needs? There are many properties on the market, so don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:
- Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
- Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
- You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.