You’ve already narrowed down your choices of homes to a few. You might feel eager to place an offer on one and get the negotiations started. It can prove easy to let emotions get in your way. Sometimes, you’ll want something so badly that you won’t ask the necessary questions. It’ll be even more challenging in case you’re purchasing in a tight market where the sellers have an upper hand.
You might feel pressured to place an offer immediately you see a home. But, it’s not the time to sign that check for your earnest deposit. First, take a chance to investigate the home, as well as the neighborhood. It’ll give you a better idea of what you intend to purchase.
Realtors can be a valuable resource in obtaining information for. They’ll also help you acquire answers to your queries from the seller’s agent. But, you can be proactive as well. Do your research! To ensure that your dream home isn’t a mirage, consider these things below:
1. Ensure You’ve Enough Money
Yes, it might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. The very first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. You wouldn’t want to waste time looking at homes just to realize later that you can’t afford them. You see, realtors will take you to every home that falls in your price range. Later, they’ll get you to a most fantastic house, which goes slightly above your price range. Believe us. You’ll find it incredibly easy to love that last one (the most expensive).
Take caution to not get trapped into a home, which will tighten your pocketbook. It’s vital that you consider all factors like utility bills, property taxes, homeowner association dues, maintenance, etc. Ensure that you’ve got all the current fees, which will come with the property. After all, it’d be no fun to own a palace and live like a pauper.
2. Professionals, Professionals, and Professionals
In today’s DIY world, you can get tempted to purchase a home without or without a little help from a professional. Some might assert that professionals cost money. Why wouldn’t you do it yourself? Seek the services of successful realtors and lawyers when purchasing a home. Going at this kind of investment alone just poses too many risks.
A successful realtor will give you the scoop on the neighborhoods, housing markets, and schools. Most importantly, they’ll be a handy guide in the bidding process. They’ll help you attain the best price possible. Hire realtors and lawyers who’re exclusively your buying agents. They ought to have your interests in mind, rather than those of the sellers. It’ll cost extra money, but it’s all worth it. You won’t have any surprises, which could have been forewarned.
3. What are your Current and Future Needs?
Do you want it to be your home forever? Is it a place you plan to reside in for many years? Take into account your growing needs over time. Assess whether that home will meet those particular needs. Are there enough playrooms and bedrooms for your children? You might be planning to have a home office. Will you be commuting to work? How far is that commute?
Although some of such future needs may not be your own, they’ll likely be others’ needs when you decide to sell the property. Yes, you don’t have a genie to predict all of your needs. But, you can foresee if a home will meet the standard ones.
4. Seek Good Neighborhoods
What would anyone want to achieve besides their dream home? You can spend days hunting for a home and finally find ‘the ‘one.’ That one contains everything you desire: a massive eat-in kitchen, a magnificent pool, and a huge garage.
You’d want to sign the papers right then and make that home yours. But, stop a moment to take a look at the neighborhood. What do you see? Is it an immaculate locale, which will go up in value? Do the neighbors seem to take pride in their home upkeep and lawns? Is there land that might be developed into a noisy park or ball field? Are there any areas of poor drainage, which might cause water problems?
Don’t get caught up in your dream home. Regard your vicinity carefully. Visit that particular region at different times during the day and night. See the activity levels. By law, your realtor should disclose any planned intrusive developments. Make sure that the neighborhood’s outdoor amenities are what you’re seeking.
5. Research the Recent Local News
There’s much more to look at, besides the house itself. Examine factors you can’t see. For instance, the municipal water well might be having a high level of contaminants. Perhaps, a high-voltage power line might soon come through your backyard. Check with the county or city to find if there are any proposed projects.
6. What’s the Return on Investment?
Sinking all your money into a home would be difficult. Equity in a home, however, can be an impressive asset. Home ownership, when properly done, can be a lucrative and smart investment. It’s important that you perform a cost-benefit analysis before purchasing a new home.
Also, how much do you intend to put into that home? Additionally do you plan to implement any lofty renovations? Would such improvements increase your investment’s value? Return on investment (ROI) isn’t often instantaneous. It’ll take time for your home’s value to increase. When in doubt, you ought to consult a financial guru or Realtor for guidance.
7. The Bidding Game
You’ve found the right castle. You’re now ready to begin bidding. You know how much you’d want to pay. But, how will you convince the seller to agree? Realize that bidding is a dance, which involves pretty elaborate steps. It’s where your dance instructor (realtor) will come in handy. Your opening bid shouldn’t obviously be what you want to pay.
A general rule is that your initial proposal ought to be 5-10% lower than your desired outcome. Also, it should be around 9-10% less than what a seller’s asking. Isn’t that clear enough? Bidding can prove to be a complicated game. It’s vital that you consult your agent. Take an attentive look at the sale prices of similar homes in that area. Ensure that you’re willing to negotiate for the middle ground.
8. Any Neighborhood Association?
It’d be helpful to inquire whether the neighborhood has an association. Is there a newsletter? How often do they get together? The fact that they’ve gatherings implies that they care about the community. They’re willing to know each other. They want to socialize. Such things help build a community. They’ll look out for your children. Also, they’ll look out for your home.
9. The View
Most neighborhoods have teardowns nowadays. You ought to look at the two homes on either side of yours. Do those adjacent homes look like they are a candidate for teardown? Is there an empty lot nearby? Also, are there restrictions on what your neighbors can build? Additionally, consider if they can build some behemoth structures, which will affect your home’s view or looks.
10. Any Past Home Problems?
Quiz the sellers about any recent house problems. It doesn’t matter whether the issues have already been fixed. It’d be nice to know what that home might be prone to. It could be water leaks or ice dams. It’ll enable you to take preventive measures, instead of finding out the hard way. Let’s assume building up a landscape solved the basement flooding. In such a case, you will not level the ground there.
11. Any Past Improvements?
Try to get detailed records on any past modifications. Yes, that might not always be possible. But, maybe you might be told the home’s exterior was painted two years ago. Then, you might see that the whole project cost just $1,000. That’s a definite forewarning that cheap materials were uses. It’ll imply that you’ve some repainting to do soon.
Don’t just inquire about recent tax bills. Find out the amounts for several recent tax bills. Homes are re-appraised and taxed at higher rates in some areas. Check whether the property taxes skyrocket every year. Look at local news. Talk to your realtors about how taxes are used in that particular region. Schools in some parts are substantially funded through property tax. In such parts, expect your taxes to increase regularly.
13. A Necessity: Home Inspection
Let’s assume you’ve already won your bid. The papers are signed. You feel like the home is yours. But, there’s still another step before wiring money – home inspection. You can easily find a home inspector. However, you’d want a real pro with a building and engineering background. You need someone who’s been in this business for years. Also, they ought to come with plenty of references. Home inspectors will detect any area that’s not up to code.
They’ll recognize all potential drainage nightmares. Mainly, they’ll catch any problem with the home’s structure. A home inspector will help protect you from costly surprises and repairs. Again, it’ll be initially much more money out of your pocket. But, it’s worthwhile for the peace of mind.
14. The Movers, Now
Home inspection went flawlessly. It’s now time to hire movers. You’re near to dancing across the threshold of your dream home. But, let’s get the furnishings there in one piece. Some researching is necessary before hiring a moving crew. Who would you trust with your antiques and valuables? The best bet would be to seek references.
A reputable, well-established mover should have multiple outstanding references of previous moves. Also, they should be happy to share that with you. Ensure that the movers you intend to hire are available on the moving dates you’ve planned. Ascertain that they’ve got a cancellation policy, which you’d agree with. Most importantly, they ought to have a replacement policy for any defective goods. Furniture is among the most-prized possessions. You should thus trust your furniture with well-researched movers.
15. Relax and Enjoy
Eventually, the day’s here! You’re officially residing in your new home. It ought to be an exciting time, which you can celebrate. It can prove tempting to get everything put and decorated right away. But, it’d be best to relax in your new home first. You want to realize what colors and furnishings would suit your home. The only way to achieve that is first to reside in your home. Take time when decorating and furnishing your new home. You’ll eventually have something you love.
Home ownership shouldn’t be a scary or daunting business. However, it can be overwhelming to attempt finding the abode of your fantasies. That’s why you should conduct proper research before getting into the market. Observe the guide above clearly. Take your time. Breathe deeply through stressful times. Hire a successful, informative realtor to assist you in navigating the dance all along. These steps will not only help you get the best home, but prevent frustrations.
Additionally, take time to talk to friends who gave bought homes, they usually have great insights. It is also wise to check online to see the common frustrations homeowners face. Additionally, remember to check the laws in your region to avoid being caught in the wrong side if the law. Finally, make the process of looking for a home interesting.