These 6 buying tips will save you time, money, and headaches when you're looking for a new home:
1. Get Pre-Qualified – before you can seriously consider purchasing a home, it’s important to know exactly how much you can afford. This can be the scariest part of the buying process for some. It’s perfectly natural to be nervous, but we can put you in touch with someone you can trust to help get you pre-qualified. A good lender may ask you financial questions you wouldn’t reveal to your mother, but they also will not share anything with any other party unless you allow them to do so – not even your real estate agent. The further you progress in the prequalification process the stronger your loan package and your offer will be when sellers consider accepting your offer.
2. Always Think Resale – due to the mobility of the economy, the length of ownership in the US is about 5 to 7 years, sometimes more. This is important to keep in mind when looking for your next home. For instance, homes backing up to a busy street or railroad sell for less and take longer to sell than other homes in the neighborhood. What may be a unique feature for you may be a stumbling block for the next buyer. Go into any home purchase with the thinking of how am I going to sell this home when it’s time for us to move onto the next home.
3. Aesthetics Can Be Changed – flooring, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, paint colors and wallpaper can all be changed; often at minimal expense and effort. Don’t let the lime green wallpaper or dated faucets and light fixtures turn you off of your potential dream home. Think of how much fun it will be to make a home yours and paint it your favorite color!
4. Don’t WAIT! – too often home buyers fall in love with a property, wait a few days to make a decision because they are nervous, and the home that they fell in love with SOLD! If you love the home, don’t wait for someone else to live in YOUR home – be prepared to write an offer! An offer on a home is an invitation to begin a negotiating conversation with a seller.
5. Compare Sales – to determine the best price to offer, or to know if the asking price is reasonable, look at the recent sales of similar homes, called “comparable sales.” Comparable sales are recent sales of homes that compare closely to the one you are looking to purchase, usually sold in the past few months. Specifically, you want to compare prices of homes that are similar in square footage, garage spaces, number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, etc. Other homes currently available for sale in the area can also give you clues to a home’s value. Let us help you with a Buyer’s Market Analysis to make an informed decision.
6. Watch Out for the Phantom – when searching for a home buyers often have an ideal picture of what their first or next home will look like. In their mind they want the perfect home, on a perfect lot, with all the perfect features. Unless you are willing to build your perfect home on the perfect lot, with all the perfect features your perfect home likely doesn’t exist. Real estate is a very perishable market – what is available today may not be there tomorrow. And the inventory next week may be completely different with homes having different features in different locations, and different compromises you may have to make.
The above article is a part of my Home Buyer's Guide I provide to every client looking for their next home. As a I work to be one step ahead of my clients and help them understand what to expect while explaining complex terms and processes in easier to understand concepts and educating them along the path to purchasing their next home. If you are looking for homes in Richmond Virginia, homes in Glen Allen Virginia, or homes in Mechanicsville Virginia and all points in between I can help. Check out .com to begin your home search today.