Deciding to buy a house is one of the biggest decisions you'll make in your life. There's a lot that has to be done before you receive the keys to your new house and move in. To better ensure you do everything right the first time and run into as few real estate roadblocks as possible, here are my top 10 tips for buying a home.
There's no question that owning a home is a financial undertaking. That's why it's best that you pay off as much of your existing debt as possible, so you'll have more money to funnel into your home and be better qualified for a mortgage. Tips for quickly paying off debt include:
Before you explore your options for a home, get a solid idea of how much home you can afford. Consider that number along with mortgage interest rates, home insurance, home maintenance, property taxes and any other costs that go along with owning a home in the Roanoke Valley.
With the help of a Roanoke real estate professional, you have a well-informed idea of the selection of homes in your area that suit your desires. Realtors also help speed up the buying process. [Read more about the services I provide to buyers and sellers.]
If you plan on getting a mortgage, put together as large a down payment as you can afford. It's best to aim for at least 20% of the cost of the home, because you can avoid private mortgage insurance. But don't worry. If that's out of reach right now, I can point you to a lender who can talk with you about low- or no-down payment mortgages.
Sellers love nothing more than potential buyers who are fully prepared to follow through on an offer. Help them by seeking loan preapproval. Once you have a preapproval letter, be sure to take it with you to show home sellers.
As you're budgeting for buying a home, calculate closing costs, including inspections, title insurance and a number of other expenses. [I've got a good blog post about closing costs.]
A house has to do more than look good on paper and photograph well for the listing. Let's schedule a showing, or you can attend an open house to get a true feel for a property.
You should love the neighborhood your house is in just as much as you love the house itself. Research the area your dream home is in to ensure you find an ideal match for your family's lifestyle. Take a couple of drives around the neighborhood at different times a day to get a sense of the pace.
Work with your Realtor to decide what would be the most competitive offer, which could involve negotiations over price, repairs, items that convey, closing costs … you name it. This increases your chances of also remaining within your personal price range.
After you celebrate your offer being accepted, go ahead and shift your focus to the closing process. Keep the process moving by submitting required paperwork on time, getting your inspections scheduled and attending a walkthrough.