Buying or renting your first home can be a very exciting and harried experience. You get on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc, and start looking for the perfect place for you to live with the right price point whether you are renting or buying… You look for the right neighborhood, the right school system, you may be looking at mortgage rates, you start thinking about packing and trips to the Home Depot or Lowes for moving boxes. You may be thinking about putting some items in self-storage. What do you get rid of and what do you keep…? It can get a bit overwhelming.
Below are several tips you can use to help streamline the process of finding your dream home, condo, townhome, or apartment!
Define What You Want in Your New Home
What are you looking for, specifically? What you will find is that no one place may be perfect, however, you may get everything you are looking for just not the way you initially visualized it. Meaning, you may get all the bedrooms and baths you are looking for but they may be slightly smaller to fit your budget. You may be slightly further away from your workplace you want to be but get the perfect home on the perfect budget. Additionally, you’ll need a finite minimum number of bedrooms for the number of occupants for space. If you have two boys and two girls you may be able to get away with a three-bedroom home, with the children sharing a room. However, most people today want their children to have their own bedrooms… Not to mention, most people want their home to be in a school district with a good educational rating.
It should be noted, also that you should cap your purchase price, the payment you are willing to make, and/or rental payment so you do not go outside a budget that makes you “house poor” as they call it. Experts have often said that you should not let your mortgage, insurance, taxes, etc. that make up your payment exceed 25% of your monthly household income… This is just a guideline, however… So, before you jump on the real estate sites, you might want to make a list of your criteria, and your monthly budget, as this will dictate what you want or can afford during your search to keep your expectations in check.
Get Pre-Approved… It’s Essential to the Process.
It goes without saying, that Realtors want to work with qualified buyers. Being “qualified” in the early stages of the home buying process means you have a mortgage preapproval from your bank, mortgage lender, or credit union. That is unless you have enough cash to purchase your home outright, and most people today do not so they buy into the mortgage payment process with a qualified lender.
You can easily get pre-approved today for a mortgage by going to any online mortgage company such as Rocket Mortgage, Quicken Home Loans, Wells Fargo, Etc… They say that you should get three pre-approvals. One from your local bank or credit union, one from a big bank, and one from a mortgage service. Depending on your negotiation skills you can negotiate the rate a bit if you need to…
Getting pre-approved will dramatically make your life easier for you when you finally engage a realtor in your home search, and purchase. Just make sure you start also preparing for the onslaught of financial paperwork requests for pay stubs, tax returns, credit card statements, etc. By having this information pulled and ready to go, you will make your life much easier.
Get Your Buyer’s Real Estate Agent
People have mixed views of Realtors… Some are more helpful than others. Some expect you to know the exact property you want already, expect to show it to you in person, and expect you to get right to the paperwork. Some are more ambitious than others, and others simply want to show you the properties you forward them from the real estate websites. Don’t let any-one agent push you in one direction or another, and sadly you will likely have to take charge of your search yourself. I’m not saying Realtors are lazy, just that some are more ambitious than others.
Behind the scenes, realtors do manage processes for you. They have access to MLS data you may not have, may live in the market you are looking and can have invaluable off-line information and data for you, and their organization will be instrumental in coordinating the closing meeting so that you may take ownership of your new property and home.
A good Real Estate Agent can help you streamline the process and ensure you get the options you are looking for in the shortest time possible.
Focus on Home Features Not What’s in It….
There is no doubt a well-staged home attracts potential buyers to the properties you may be looking at purchasing. A well-staged home makes an empty house look beautiful… Remember one thing… It’s not your furniture. The furniture is there to make the space look attractive. While you want to visualize yourself in the home enjoying time with your family in front of the fireplace, you need to focus on the home’s condition and structural integrity… You need to spend time in the basement, stick your head in the attic, etc. You need to get a feel for what might need to be replaced or repaired. These are all costs above and beyond the purchase price of your potential home.
A good inspector will point out issues you did not see or the current owner did not know existed, or dare we say was trying to hide from you the potential buyer to make their home look like a more attractive purchase.
There’s much more to buying a home, but these four tips will help you make the right decision for you and your family. Don’t rush into anything, take your time, and weigh your options…
When you’re ready for your big move within New Jersey, to Pennsylvania, or another state such as North Carolina or Florida, you can contact us at 732-324-2500 or fill out our form here: https://www.herculesmoversinc.com, and we will provide you with a no-obligation competitive quotation.