Thinking about buying a home? For many, the idea of owning their own house is very exciting. It’s a huge purchase, though—it’s probably the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy. That means it’s not a purchase you want to make on a whim. You’d be surprised, though, at how many people buy a house without truly knowing what they’re getting. Someone who may take days comparing and contrasting different cell phones or printers may jump right into buying a house without doing much investigating at all. If you’re buying a house, here are a few important tips to remember so that you not only get the best deal financially, you also get a property that will be your home for years to come.
Understand the Costs
Buying a home isn’t as simple as simply paying the asking price. In fact, there are many other costs you may have to pay, and you need to be prepared for that. These costs may include things such as mortgage insurance, homeowner’s insurance, title insurance, and a number of other things you might have to pay for. Sometimes, the seller pays some of these costs. Other times, they’re all on you. It depends on the deal you and the seller agree to. You can talk to your real estate agent about what costs you might have to pay on top of the price for the property itself.
Check Builder Credentials
Buying a brand new house can be exciting – you often get to be involved in the construction, selecting flooring, colors, and more. However, you do want to research the builder and make certain that they’re known for building high-quality homes. Some do cut corners in order to meet deadlines or come in under-budget. The last thing you want is to purchase a brand new home and then have to make major repairs within a year or two.
Explore the Neighborhood
Many homebuyers forget that they’re buying more than just the property, they’re also buying the location. Spend a little time getting to know the neighborhood. Drive around and see what’s in a 10 or 15 minute drive. You may not think that it’s important to have a gas station or grocery store nearby, but later on you might regret that decision. Also, be sure to visit the area during the day and the night. Drive around with your window down at night and listen. Do you hear dogs barking, loud music, or anything else? See what the neighborhood is like on a weekday and on the weekend. You don’t want to move into a great home only to find that you’re on a very busy or loud street.
Don’t Buy the First House You See
As with any major purchase, always shop around a bit. While the first home may seem perfect, remember that very few homebuyers find a house that truly checks every box on their wish list. Make sure each home you’re seriously considering meets your needs. It’s easy to get wowed by an impressive view or a remodeled kitchen, but you need to make sure you look past these things.
On the other hand, aesthetics do matter. You don’t want to buy a house that you don’t find particularly attractive. Yes, it’s easy to paint a few rooms or swap out a light fixture here and there, but major remodels can quickly add up. If you hate several rooms in the house, it may be best to continue your search instead of deciding to remodel later. At best, you’ll end up spending a lot more money to get the home you want. At worst, you’ll never remodel and you’ll end up spending years in a home you hate.
Find a Great Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent is an important ally and resource in your home search. That’s why it’s important that you find someone you trust and get along with. If your agent doesn’t seem to get your style, needs, or personality, they may not be the right person to work with. Some people find that they need to connect with their agent on several levels. For example, those in the LGBT community often look for a gay or lesbian real estate agent. They feel more comfortable with an agent who understands where they’re coming from. Many people find these experts on www.GayRealEstate.com, a website specializing in LGBT real estate.
Take Your Time
Unless you’re facing a strict deadline to leave your current residence, take your time with your housing search. There’s no need to rush or to settle for a home that doesn’t meet your needs. Take your time, work with your agent, and trust your intuition. The only time you should not take your time is if you live in part of the country facing a shortage of homes for sale. In this case, once you find the perfect home, be aggressive in making your offer and in what terms you put in your offer. That way, you don’t lose your dream home to someone else.