Buying a home is a huge decision, and Rachael prides herself in guiding you through the process each step of the way. Tips to help you prepare:
First step Rachael recommends is meeting with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home. Quote from Rachael: "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 transcribed in writing from a lender. A benefit, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, shows the seller immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Negotiations can immediately begin taking place and fare well on the side of the buyer. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan".
Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists.
1. List One: The first should include items you must have in the home (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one- story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.).
2. List Two: The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first- time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
Focused & Organized:
In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
2. A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
3. Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
4. Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
5. Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?
The house that catches your eye might not be empty so now is the time to picture the home replaced with your decor. Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light? Will the furniture fit? Is there room for Fido to fetch? All important questions we ask our buyers's to visualize.
Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
A few extra dollars well spent now on inspections and mortgage contingencies may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:
1. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
2. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
3. 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)
By a licensed real estate professional is the best way to help you keep organized with all the details of preparing for the purchase of your new home. Please email Rachael or call her directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.