Homebuyer’s Guide: Taking the Guesswork Out of Buying
You’ve decided to make the leap into homeownership, congratulations! Coldwell Banker Burnet can make the home buying process easier. Since your home will most likely be the largest investment you will ever make, it’s important to stay organized and focused. Follow these tips and before you know it, you’ll be living in your ideal home.
Organize your paperwork. Your tax documents, pay stubs and bank statements are documents that a mortgage broker needs in order to verify your financial health. Also check your credit score to make sure it is in tip top shape. If necessary, make corrections to your credit report.
Get pre-approved. To finance your new home, meet with a PHH Home Loans loan officer. Pre-approval for a home loan is a good gauge of how much you can borrow and it shows home sellers that you have the backing to buy. Plus, the pre-approval letter will put you in a better negotiating position when making an offer.
Set a budget. Know your total budget, which not only includes the price of the home but also closing costs and fees. Also consider post-purchase expenses such as moving fees, security systems and furnishings.
Make a list. Before walking into a single home, determine what your family truly needs in a new home. Anticipate your future needs, such as will your family be growing or will your job location be changing? Prioritize your list and decide what features are a must have and what amenities can be sacrificed. Thinking about the positives and negatives of your current home is a great way to start your list. Having a vision of what you want makes it easier to communicate what you are looking for to your Realtor.
Location, location, location. Location is crucial when searching for your home. Only you can decide which location is best for you. A few considerations include: How far do you want to commute to your job? Are the community schools highly rated? Do you require nearby neighborhood services such as public transportation, shopping and senior resources? You should also think about the location’s impact on the resale value of the property if you are anticipating selling in the next few years.
Get on the Web. One of the best ways to start your home search is on the Internet. On Web sites such as www.cbburnet.com you can search for properties, find a Realtor, determine mortgage payments, research communities and so much more from the comfort of your own home.
Find the right Realtor. There is no one better who can help you find your ideal home than a Realtor. They are experts in the local trends and can help you with everything from gathering community information to taking a home tour to finding moving services. Plus, Realtors can greatly reduce the amount of pressure you feel during this stressful time. Find a Realtor you trust and who is a good match for you. Coldwell Banker Burnet simplifies this process with our Find an Agent search.
Take notes or bring a camera. While touring homes, write down a few notes or take photos of things you like and dislike in the home and others that you may not. This way, when you evaluate the homes you have visited, you will have the pros and cons of each. Just remember to jot down which photos and videos go with which notes.
Make an offer. When you find a home that meets your needs, it’s time to make an offer. Your Realtor can help determine an appropriate price and will help you negotiate the offer.
The all important home inspection. A home inspection is a great way to find any potential hiccups the home may have that you did not see during the initial home tour. Once you know what needs attention, if anything, your Realtor can go back to the seller to discuss items that should be taken care of before purchasing the home.
Close the deal. Closing is the final step in completing a real estate transaction. At the closing, ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer and any costs incurred by either the buyer or the seller beyond the price of the property itself are paid.
The house is yours! The final papers have been signed and you have the keys to your home. It’s time to move. To make the process go more smoothly, create a moving check list and ask your Realtor about our exclusive Concierge program which can assist you with the services you need before, during and after your move.