Buying a home is a process and one that should be thought through carefully with the right professionals at your side. To avoid headaches and disappointment throughout this journey, take a moment to read the 7 habits of effective buyers – after all, buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make during your life.
1. Get pre-approved
It’s always been a good idea to get pre-approved for your mortgage loan, but lately, it’s become even more important. Recently, mortgage guidelines have been tightened causing documentation needed to expand and be followed more closely. A pre-approval gets you through the process and uncovers potential pitfalls long before you become obligated by a contract to buy a home. With a pre-approval:
- You’ll be certain about the price range best for you
- Know how much cash you’ll need to close
- Know your maximum payment
By understanding your limits, you’ll have the confidence to negotiate. Plus, sellers like a sure thing. You’ll have an advantage over buyers who may not have been through the process
2. Know what you want and what you need
When thinking about what you want, ask yourself a few questions. What style of homes do you like? Ranch, 2 story, split-level, etc. What location do you want to be in? Do you want a large yard? Then start asking yourself what you need. How many bedrooms do you need? Do you need to stay in a specific school district? How much space do you need for vehicles? Think about what you want the end result to be and begin to move towards that goal.
3. Be realistic
By now you know your budget and you’ve set your goals. Now it’s time to be realistic. Get an idea of what is available on the market. Nowadays, technology allows you to search whenever and wherever. Spend a little time on the weekend driving through your desired neighborhood and maybe go to some open houses. Doing this will give you a solid idea of what’s on the market and where you want to end up.
4. Shoot high, but be flexible
Do you have an idea in your head of “The Perfect Home”? This doesn’t exist. When you’re looking for the right home, it’s important to be flexible. You may find a home that’s slightly over budget but think to yourself, “does it check all your wants/needs?” or “will it give you space to grow”? Maybe you find an ‘okay’ house but with a little time and TLC, you make that ‘okay’ home into exactly what you want – and still stay on budget.
5. Stay educated. Understand the home buying process
It’s so important to understand the home buying process and to be educated. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you can make – ask away. Surround yourself with the right real estate agent and mortgage professional that is educated and able to answer any and all of your questions in a timely fashion.
6. Have the right team
To reiterate from the last point, it’s vital to have the right team. Be sure to have an educated real estate agent and reputable mortgage professional by your side. By having a solid team during the process, you will save time, have your questions answered and eliminate headaches. Do some research and look at reviews. The home buying process can be rough, but with the right professionals, a rough process can turn into smooth sailing.
7. Learn from the experience
Buying a home is quite the journey – enjoy it. There will be many ups and downs, but savor the good moments. When your offer is accepted, when your loan is approved, when you set a closing date, etc. When all’s said and done, you’ll have a new home and more life experience. Even if there are disappointments during the process, you’ll still grow and learn from the experience. Think about what you want, want you need, and stay educated.
Ready to start your journey? Get pre-approved.