Home Buying Process

Buying a home is a big decision. One that no matter how much research you do, there are still so much you probably didn’t prepare for. As you move through the process of buying a home, the most important thing you can do for yourself is hire a real estate agent to help you navigate the process. In the end, you’ll be glad you did. window-1601423_640

To help you prepare for the home buying process, especially if this your first time, here are 5 important factors to be aware of.

Pre-approved. Before you begin your search for your dream home, take a moment to get pre-approved. This is important so you know how much you can afford and have realistic expectations going in. Too many times first time homebuyers skip this process and they start looking at homes that are way out of their price range, which can put throw them off once they see what they really can afford.

In addition to this, being pre-approved before talking with a real estate agent will help your agent support in your house hunt—and yes, you’re going to want to have an agent help you.

Search for dream home. The house hunt can be a frustrating experience or a wonderful experience, depending what you’re looking for and what the market is like. However, with a qualified agent helping you along the way, this will take a lot of the stress away. While looking for your dream home, remember to take some time to look at various homes to give you an idea on what you’d like. Also, don’t fall in love with just one home, in case someone makes an offer before you’ve had a chance to. During this process, your agent can help and answer all your questions about making counter-offer and negotiations.

Earnest money. This can be a surprise if you’re not prepared for it. When you make an offer on your dream home, putting down some earnest money to show the seller you’re serious. Depending on the situation, either the earnest will go towards your closing costs or will be returned to you. Again, your real estate agent and loan officer can answer your questions.

Inspections. Once the seller has accepted your offer, prepare for home inspections. Three of the more important ones are a meth test, mold test, and radon test. In addition to having these tests, hiring a professional inspector to inspect the property, both inside and out. This is important to know if there are any foundational and structural problems you should be aware of. If you find out these before the set deadlines, you can pull out of your offer which out losing your earnest money.

Loan Process. This is another in depth process you should be prepared for. Depending on the type of loan you’re applying for, your credit score, and other financial documents, this may be a long process as your lender determines if you qualify for a loan. Going into this process, make sure you have your last 2 years tax information, w-2s, paycheck stubs, and any other information your lender may need.

There is a lot that goes in the home buying process and at times you may feel like it will never end and you’ll never buy your home. However, the process is worth it because in the end you’ll have a home you love, will start building equity, and have pride in owning your very home.

Remember buying your first home? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

3 Areas To Check Before Making An Offer On Your Next Home

Spring or Fall, either season is good for home buying. However, some might say the autumn is the best time for house hunting because there is less competition and more inventory to choose from. As you move forward with your search, here are 3 things to pay attention to: slide6

  1. Air conditioner. Most A/Cs aren’t in use during this time of year so it is something you probably aren’t thinking about. However, once the summer months hit again, you are going to be wanting this…and working. First of all, check to make sure the house has an air conditioner. Next, have an inspector check out the unit to ensure it is working properly and if it needs a new filter or has any blockages. Also, check the ductwork for rust and see if the machine is making any strange sounds.
  1. Inspect the drainage. Besides checking the gutters, be sure to also check the drainage of the home. Take a walk around the property and look for areas where water has accumulated into small puddles which could indicate a leak in the pipes or other problems that may need to be addressed.
  1. Window conditions. Make sure to check all the windows in the home to ensure they have the proper installation. There is nothing worse then sitting down in your new home to find you didn’t check the window installation.

Learn more about other areas you should check in this article by Realtor.com. If you are ready to make a move into a new home, give me a call today and let me help you find your dream home.

Preparing to Move Out of Your Parents Home

suitcase-468445_640When moving out of your parents home, millennials seem to need a little more help. According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau data showed that young adults, those between the ages of 18 to 34, opted to live in their family homes, at least temporarily.

For the millennials ready to make the move and leave the nest, here are a 2 suggestions:

Play pretend. Before moving out, experts recommend building good habits of bill paying. If your parents are kind enough to let you live in the home rent free, or giving you a hefty discount, you can create a pretend budget to give you an idea of what you’ll be spending on rent, groceries, transportation, etc. By taking the time to do this, you will build a safety net for any emergencies.

Set a deadline. Once you’ve made the decision to move out, make it official by setting a deadline and letting your family know. As your countdown goes down, start scouting for a home or apartment a few months in advance to know which areas you can best afford.

How to Downsize and Stay Sane

Not everyone wants to move into the biggest house on the block or are tired of maintaining a large home. Whatever your reason, how do you decide if downsizing is the right choice for you?

There are a lot of things to weigh when you begin to consider downsizing. If you are like most people, you have a lot of furniture, mementos, and clutter you’ve collected over the years, downsizing may not be the right decision. If you are overwhelmed with stuff, trying to put all of that in a smaller home could add to your stress and frustration.SmHuts

To get a better sense of the pros and cons of downsizing, talk to people who’ve downsized before. What was their experience like? What were some of the challenges they faced? Would they do it again? Through your conversations you can gain more clarity and decide if you should downsize.

When you have a better idea of what would be your best option, you find move forward with certainty and find ways to reduce any additional stress in your life.

Questions to Ask When Buying a Home

There is a lot of work finding the right home for you and your family. It is a major commitment you are making, becoming a homeowner, and you want to make sure you are making the right choice. Is it by the right schools (Tips for choosing the right school), what are the neighbors like (Find the right neighbors), and is it in your price range (Determining price range)? Get an idea of what you can afford with this calculator tool.

As you tour homes and start narrowing down your search, here are some questions to ask before putting down an offer:

  • Why is the owner selling?
  • Talk with the neighbors
  • How long has it been vacant
  • Check the water pressure and make sure they are draining

Remember, this is an investment so you want to make sure you are making the right choice when it comes to buying a home. Take time to consider what is most important to you and talk with your agent about finding the home that meets your needs.

What are some questions you would add to the list? What do you wish you’d asked the last time you looked at homes? What would you change in your last home search? Share your stories and thoughts with us.