Buying a home is exciting and can be very overwhelming, especially for newbies. There are many more pieces to the puzzle than simply finding a home you like and sending in an offer. While realtors do their best to make the process smooth and painless, there are still various components that have to come together. Which is why I hope you find these tips helpful. Knowledge is the first step in making a process more efficient and less stressful.
- Don’t shop out of your price range- it’ll only frustrate everyone involved. I know it can be fun to look at those beautiful homes in that neighbor you love but also know you can’t quite afford. The problem isn’t appreciating these homes, it’s that our expectations get warped and inevitably disappoint creeps in when we look at the homes we can afford. Not only is this a bummer for your realtor who wants to find a great home for you but it’s never satisfying for you as a buyer. It’s best to stick to what’s in your range.
- Get pre-approved. Before you assume what’s in your price range it’s best to consult with a loan officer. They take your financial status and the current interest rates of homes and determine the best price limit. Now this assumes you’ll need a loan. Cash buyers are great but that’s not reality for most of us. Not only will getting pre-approved for a home loan give you the best idea of price ranges, it also makes the process of purchasing the home go quickly. Your realtor already knows the paperwork is ready so they can move forward, quickly sending in your offer.
- You’re on camera. It’s no surprise with the way technology is a part of nearly every aspect of our lives that cameras are now in homes watching us. It’s also a great tool some sellers utilize to see those people that come to look at their home. In some cases, they even are critical in determining if an offer is accepted or rejected. So be warned- what you say or do in a home may have lasting consequences.
- Know what you want: making a list is great but also have it narrowed down to must haves. Depending on where you live- a big city or small town, options are limited no matter what. It’s best to know what you like but more importantly, what you can’t live without. I have four children in a four bedroom home but I’ve learned we can manage with three bedrooms. I have also learned we need two bathrooms. While I’d love a four or five bedroom home, a one bathroom is a no-go. That’s the type of information that will greatly help a realtor (and yourself) narrow the options down to find not just a suitable house but one you can call home.
- Do your research: know the areas you may buy into. Did you know that realtors can’t legally tell you some things about potential homes. Whether the neighborhood is safe or what the schools are like are two big factors for many, if not most, people looking to buy and these are exactly the things on which realtors can’t comment. You’ll have to be the one to do the leg work. There are websites and tools you can utilize to see crime or sex offenders in a particular area. Another amazing tip that people might forget is to talk to the neighbors! They are a great source of information and not concerned in the same way as a seller is about putting their best foot forward. Of course they likely desire friendly neighbors but they can shed light on a community that others, like a realtor, cannot.
- Don’t skip the inspections. It might surprise a new potential buyer how expensive home inspections cost, especially since the home isn’t a total guarantee until you sign those papers. However, getting all the knowledge about a home up front, before you commit to it, is more than helpful- it’s smart business with your money. Be prepared now to have the funds to get the inspections you may need. If you’re looking outside of a city or town you’ll likely have a septic system- those come with their own potential inspections. There are also inspections for pests and radon. These tests are, in most areas, not included in a standard home inspection but may be of help to you in your buying endeavors. Midwest Enviro Solutions offers radon testing for your convenience and safety.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of things to know before you buy a new home, I certainly hope it gets you started on the right foot. And no matter the state of the home, whether buying or selling Midwest Enviro Solutions is ready to help you clean, sanitize, and even help with inspecting homes for your benefit and health.