Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases a person makes in their adult life and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Whether you’ve purchased a home in the past or you’re getting ready to buy your first house, make sure you have these six home buying tips handy.
6 Home Buying Tips
- Have your credit and finances in order. Before you can purchase a house, make sure all of your finances are up to date and put a hold on any purchases requiring your credit. Part of making sure your finances are in place is checking your credit report and score; there are multiple sites across the web that provides free credit reporting to help you determine if you are in a favorable spot to buy your dream home.
- Select a lender and get pre-approved. Once you know what your credit and finances look like, it’s time to shop for a lender and get pre-approved for your loan.
- Know the terms. When selecting a lender, your goal is to obtain a mortgage loan with terms that are most favorable to your situation. In order to find the best home loan for you, contact several lenders on the same day if possible to discuss what they offer, their rates and the Annual Percentage Rates (APR). The interest rate refers to the annual cost of a loan to a borrower and is expressed as a percentage. The interest rate does not include fees charged for the loan. The APR is the annual cost of a loan to a borrower – including fees. Gather as much information as you can, meet with the lenders and select the one you trust.
- Get pre-approved. Once you get your initial loan approval, you’ll know how much you can afford and the max price to shop for so you don’t fall in love with a house outside of your budget. Offers on a home require a pre-approval letter (or proof of funds) before they are considered by the seller.
- Assess your wants and needs in a home. Finding a home can be exciting, but deciding what you truly want and need – and within your budget – can be challenging. Most home buyers invariably face trade-offs. Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, etc. What are some must-have features that your home needs to possess before you buy? Do you want to live in a more rural setting or do you like to be in the middle of the city within walking distance to everything?
- Find a real estate professional. Get referrals from friends, family, online and advertisements. Interview Real estate professionals. Here are some questions you may want to ask: How long they have been a real estate broker and their production level; are they full time or part time; training and experience; how will they communicate with you? Select the best one for you, then start searching for a home.
- Search for your new house. This is a seller’s market. In a seller’s market, there are fewer homes for sale to a larger pool of buyers so it is important you get new listings as soon as they are posted to the Multiple Listings Services (NWMLS). Ask your realtor to send you listings that best meet your criteria as soon as they are posted to the MLS. View and compare homes. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find your new home right away; the perfect home for you is out there!
- Negotiate terms. You found the perfect house and it’s time to make an offer. An experienced Realtor can help you decide how much to offer for the home in this Seller’s Market. Negotiations begin with an initial offer and conclude with acceptance of the final offer.
With these six tips, you are armed with the tools you need to start the home buying process and secure the house of your dreams. Have you bought a home in the past; what are some other pieces of advice you have for anyone buying a house? Leave a comment down below!
Karin Zeigler brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in buying and selling residential real estate in the South Puget Sound area including Thurston, Mason, Lewis and Pierce counties. Whether you’re looking for a first house, downsizing, or have special circumstances such as military loans, Karin can help you find your dream home. Contact her today, or call 360-870-6249, to start your home buying or selling process.