Know What You Can Afford
Searching the mls for a home that meets your wants and needs should be realistic for what you can afford. Contact a qualified lender to help you determine what price you can afford and what loan options are available for you in your area. We have a list of trusted lenders available for you to help you get started.
Other costs of owning a home
Owning a home comes with maintenance and upkeep. We recommend you plan for 1% of the home value to set aside each year for yearly repairs and updates needed. It is important to get the history of the home and recent updates to the home to help budget for future costs.
Skipping a home inspection
When you are looking at a home to purchase, many times your thoughts are overridden with excitement and material things the home provides, and how nice your furniture will fit in the living room. We recommend a home inspection to thoroughly examine the quality of build and all other important items that you will need to know such as adequate insulation, leaking of a roof in the attic, water issues, and all other things you would not see through an inspectors eyes. This will help prepare you on future expenses and if a home will nickel and dime you.
Property taxes are available through the county assessor in the county the home is in. Understanding the market value and potential for an increase of property taxes or future assessments on a home are important to prepare for and be made aware of as this affects your monthly payment or yearly budget.
Working with the wrong buyer’s agent
Do not always use the first agent you find on the sign. Make sure the agent is working for you and your best interests. You should not feel pressured by your agent to buy the first house you see if you are not ready and do not yet feel educated on the homes in your area. There are many factors your agent should be looking for to help you. Good communication, knowledge and honesty from your agent will assure a smooth transaction. We have a list of our agents available for you to research that can help meet your individual needs.
Foreclosures are a great deal
Yes this can very well be true, but it can also lead you to unforeseen problems starting from the day of home ownership. Typically in our area we have to be careful with a vacant home in foreclosure and the history of how it has been properly maintained throughout the foreclosure process. Our cold weather has a major impact on a home and making sure it has been properly winterized. We have experienced realtors that will help point out things you may not be aware of and the risks of buying a foreclosure.
You are pre-qualified
It is important to work closely with your lender and understand your responsibility during the loan process. Unusual large bank deposits, opening a credit card charge the new furniture you want for your home, or buying a new car all can have a negative effect on you qualifying for a home loan. Make sure you have a good knowledgeable lender who will educate you on the dos and don’ts during the loan underwriting process.
Short Sales take forever
Ask your buyer agent the history of the agent working with the seller and lender that will be handling the short sale side. What is there experience with the process and their success rate of getting a short sale approved and closed. Who is the lender and knowing the timeframe they require for approval. Your buyer’s agent should research these things to prepare you for the length of time buying a short sale will take. Timeframes can range from 30days to 1 year or longer depending on the situation and complexity of the short sale. If you are prepared and ok with the timeframe of a particular home it may be worth the wait to you.
Letting your emotions take over
We know and understand how your emotions can get in the way of making a decision. Letting your agent know what your needs are and situation from the beginning will help to keep you from making a purchase based on the emotional connections versus the smart purchase. A home is more than the cute pictures on the wall, color of the paint and plush carpet.
Do have fun
Buying a home should be a fun experience and not stressful. Working with the right agent for you will assure this will be a fun and memorable experience you will never forget.
Understand Utility Expenses
The cost to heat a home in our area is important to know when budgeting for your home. It the home may have a listed price for what you qualify for but understanding the recurring monthly utilities needs to be factored in so you know the affordability of the home and if the it will be a smart purchase and the right home for you.
Listen to family and friends
We encourage you to talk with family and friends who are homeowners about their experiences with buying a home. Bring them to the house to get their opinion. They may have suggestions you would not think of. However, remember they will not be living there and may not have the same needs you do or be in the same situation as you are when they bought their home. The market is changing daily and it may have been a different market when they bought so make sure you are educated by your agent so you are a smart buyer and doing what is best for you.