7 Things You Must Do While You’re Browsing For Your New Home
Get Pre-approved for a Loan – If you’re not paying cash, then a mortgage will be a huge part of your decision. It is rarely too early to start the process. There are many different loan options available and it’s good to explore them before you go out and fall in love with that perfect home. In addition when you do identify that perfect home, chances are there are other buyers who also think it’s perfect and you could find yourself in a multiple offer situation. Having a pre-approved loan in your corner, is like cash to the seller and as such moves your offer up the list of desirable offers.
Determine How Much Home You Want – In some cases you may find that you qualify for more home than you need or want. When I purchased my home some 38 yrs ago, (yeah I’m old LOL), I was told to buy as much home as I could possible afford. Hogwash. Buy what is comfortable for you and your family. Things to consider will be family make up. Is your family expanding? Are your teenagers soon to be moving out? Do you have hobbies or like to travel? I may sound like your parents, but don’t marry yourself to a huge mortgage that doesn’t allow you to do any of life’s other activities.
Put Together a list of Must Haves – Sit down and put a list together of non negotiables, features/benefits that would be nice to have and those things that would be an incredible win if you found it. Non negotiables might be 3 bedrooms. Or it could be an in-ground pool. Maybe it’s a single story home. “Nice to have,” might include Granite counters in the kitchen but if you didn’t get them, maybe you get a bonus check from your job and could use that money to have them installed. Then there’s the “Big Win” item. Again, maybe it’s the pool. Or it could be the Media Room. If you got it, it would knock it out of the park for you but if not, it wouldn’t ruin your home buying experience.
Know Agency Laws – Who represents who in a real estate transaction? Did you know for example that legally, unless you are in an exclusive agreement with an agent who represents YOUR best interests, that they represent the seller? And as such, they are limited in the amount and type of information that they can disclose to you. In the state of Texas, there is a disclosure that is to be presented upon the first meeting with a prospective purchaser. This law is violated on a daily basis. Know the law BEFORE getting involved in a real estate transaction.
Think About the Future – Sure, we hear it all the time but sometimes, we just fly by the seat of our pants without thinking ahead. While none of us knows the future for certain, you may want to think about your career path as an example. Is there a potential you’ll transfer for a promotion? Is your current company considering building a new office or facility in another part of town? Do you have aging parents in another state that may have to be cared for and will require you to move? Or, what about grandkids? Any potential that you’ll want to move to be nearer to your kids/grandkids.
Learn About the Home Buying Process BEFORE You Ever Look at That First Home – Boy this one, I can’t stress it enough. Find a real estate agent who works more on a consulting basis than a sales model; one that will sit down with you and show you, from start to finish what it takes to buy a home in todays market. Too many times I’ve seen people walk through an open house one weekend, fall in love and start the purchase process, only to have a horrible experience. I have learned over the years that it’s not always something went wrong; it’s was part of the process but the client didn’t understand how things were supposed to work.
Know the Neighborhood – Drive the neighborhoods you’re most interested in especially in the evenings and weekends. Drive to your workplace. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and be in the neighborhood when you think you’d need to leave to make it to work on time. Does the area/community fit with work, schools and other activities that you and your family participate in? Consider the cost of toll roads in your daily travels.
League City Homes for Sale