Home Searching Basics
Buying a home can be a emotional, time consuming and stressful process. Here are a few tips to make the process smoother.
Get approved before you start looking
Whether it is a bank or mortgage broker, they will review your credit history, verify your assets, and verify your employment. Generally speaking, once you are approved you will get the loan (in the range you are approved for).
This also gives you an advantage over a buyer who has yet to be approved. Sellers are more receptive to buyers who are pre approved vs. ones who might not get the approval for financing.
***HOWEVER- be honest during this process. Pre approval is an estimation. When it comes time to get official approval, the lender will investigate and verify what you told them is true. If there are problems you may not get the financing even though you were pre approved.
Learn About the neighbourhood
If you find a house in unfamiliar territory, ask for a list of the homes sold in the past year in that area. How does this home rank? Is it at the top of the price range? If so it might be hard to resell. Typically first time buyers should be looking for a property in which they can add equity too and grow with. Buying a completely finished home will cost top dollar and not leave much room for additional profit down the road.
Check out the schools
If you have school aged children this is important. But even if you don’t, the quality of the local schools can have a positive (or negative) impact on the resale value of your home.
Talk to neighbours
The more people you talk to, the better idea you will have of the make up of the area.
Check out the location of amenities
For example shopping and attractions. These can all have a positive or negative affect on your property value.
Have Reasonable Expectations
There is a lot of Money at stake however remember that there is no perfect house. Being able to look at the process in a rational manner will help you get through the negotiation, inspection and closing stages. Emotions generally run high for both buyers and sellers and cooler heads always prevail.
Remember the market value of the property
Make sure to get good advice on the value of the home. If you can not agree to a price, ask yourself, is there something I missed? Are there comparables in the neighborhood that support the price they want? Are there motivations that might factor into the price they are demanding? In the end does it matter? What is the house worth today and what do you think it will reasonably sell for based on the time you plan to spend in it.
Get a Home Inspection
No house is perfect and all houses will have minor deficiencies but what you are looking for are major ticket repair items (roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, furnace). In the case there are issues your realtor can negotiate a credit or have the seller fix as a condition of sale.
At first glance, the Home Search seems complex but with a plan and sound advice you will be well on your way to finding your new home. If you need assisstance, I will work to ensure the process moves smoothly. Remember, Nothing compares to owning your own home in the neighborhood you choose!