Buying a home, whether it is your first, second, third, or last is a big decision. Doing a little homework before you buy can make this decision a smooth and easy one. Here are some things to think about before you buy.
1) CHECK YOUR OWN CREDIT. Most homebuyers will need to obtain a mortgage to purchase a home. Make this process a little easier; start to clean up your credit a few months before you apply for a loan. Obtain a copy of your own credit report and check it for accuracy; resolve any problems you discover.
2) GET PRE-APPROVED FOR YOUR MORTGAGE. Getting pre-approved will give you a price range for your home search. It will also put you in a better bargaining position when it comes time to write an agreement on the home of your choice.
3) HIRE A PROFESSIONAL. Finding the right real estate agent means finding one who will listen to you and help you find the home that best fits your needs. You may be able to find a lot of information on the internet yourself, but a professional can help you sort through it and easily guide you through every step of the buying process.
4) MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY FOR THIS COMMITMENT. If you don’t think you’ll be content in the same home for very long, buying may not be the right choice for you. Selling your home too soon may cause you to lose money.
5) LOOK FOR GOOD SCHOOLS. Even though you may not have children, it is still in your best interest to buy in an area with good schools. This could have an impact on resale value when you decide you are ready to make another move. A good school district will help increase the value of your home. http://GreatSchools.org is a good resource.
6) STAY IN YOUR BUDGET. Carefully consider all your debt and expenses versus your income before jumping into this purchase. Be 100% certain you can afford it.
7) BE A SMART BIDDER. Your real estate agent will be important in this step of the buying process. Make sure any offer you put on a home is in-line with other home sales in that area. Your agent will be able to easily access the past few months’ home sales and verify this information.
8) GET INSPECTIONS. Many lenders will require certain inspections before getting a loan approval. This is in your best interest. Inspections are a good way to insure that the home you’re buying is worth the price you are paying.