While not fully recovered from the 2008 crash, the US housing market has been on a slow rebound for the past year or so. Coupled with more stringent regulation, the stronger market has made it somewhat more difficult for home-buyers. The following five tips will help first-time home buyers navigate the confusing, complex task of real estate purchase.
Do your Homework
Everyone’s financial situation and housing market is different. You must be realistic with what you can and cannot afford. Bear in mind that, in addition to your mortgage payment, utilities, maintenance, property taxes, and insurance are now your responsibility as opposed to a landlord. These additional expenditures can run $300-500 or more above your base mortgage payment.
Meet with a Realtor
A realtor is an invaluable partner in guiding you through the home buying process. With most realty firms, all costs are borne by home sellers, so as a first-time buyer, the assistance of a realtor is free. Realtors can show any home that is up for sale, not just homes listed with their agency. Realtors can also offer tips specific to the local market, including “hidden gems” and good deals within your price range.
A home is probably the single biggest investment you’ll ever make. Shop around, have patience, and wait for a house you know you’ll love. Most realtors plan on showing 20-30 houses before a “winner” is found. Try to plan ahead for your future needs and see the big picture in terms of possible remodeling, maintenance needs, etc.
Once you have found your “winner,” slow everything down. Ask for a second showing and go over the house with a fine-toothed comb. Look for signs of water damage, mold, roof leaks, and other condition concerns. A professional home inspection usually runs $300-500, but is well worth the expense. The inspector will highlight maintenance concerns that you will want the seller to address prior to closing. If the roof needs work, Coomer Roofing is one of the premiere roofing contractors in Indianapolis.
Take detailed notes of every home you visit. Most realtors will provide you with a listing sheet that provides a rundown of the basic house features. Begin assembling old paystubs, bank statements, and tax information at this time. It might be a good idea to run a credit check on yourself as well. Mortgage lenders will want all this information quickly.
The home-buying process can be a long and intimidating process, especially for new buyers. But if you follow these steps, you will find the reward of home ownership is well worth the stress!