What to Consider When Buying a Home

Home Buying ConsiderationsBuying a home can be rewarding. When you are making a home-buying decision, you are taking a step in the right direction. Be prepared to make wise decisions, because it is the biggest financial decision and the strongest emotional choice you will ever make in your life. Think about how you live, and determine what kind of home, in what kind of location, will best suit your lifestyle. It may be a condominium, a large ranch-style home, a waterfront home, an old house, or a brand-new house. It is important to keep in mind that your home purchase should reflect yourself. Below are some helpful tips to consider when buying a home.

1. Know your price range and stick to it. Be careful and realistic. Ask yourself, “What can I afford to buy?” What are your normal monthly expenses and what kind of mortgage payment could comfortably fit into your budget? Make sure you leave enough money for closing costs, emergencies, or other expenses. Remember, there are many expenses involved in buying a home. You must have the means to cover them.

2. Decide on what you need and keep in mind that what you need is different from what you want. It is important to be realistic. Write down the features that you must have and what you would like to have even before you start searching. You can discuss this with your agent upon your first meeting so he can search for a home based on it. And who knows, in the end, you might be able to find a home that is a blend of your needs and wants.

3. How many rooms for different purposes do you want, and what features? Examine room size, floor plan, and adequacy of closets, and storage. Have a specification of what you need and want and the extras you would like to have. Perhaps no house has all the extras you want, but a house with the nicest combination would be good.

4. Analyze your finances and arrange a mortgage. Don't be shy about your finances. Be very careful and realistic. Based on your financial situation, your agent can give you a general idea of what may be available to you, but it's much better if you formally determine a mortgage before you start searching for a home, so you know where you stand on credit and what kind of homes are available to you.

5. Buying a home involves a lot of little details in addition to all the big details. Make sure that you get a trustworthy, qualified, and experienced real estate agent, one whom you will feel comfortable with, so you don’t end up making costly mistakes. These agents are most familiar with the largest and best selection of homes and you can save a lot of time and hassle because he knows the fair market price and can negotiate effectively with the seller. So when your home buying search starts getting busy, and you're getting ready to make a decision, it's a good idea to have a professional on your side.

6. Start searching and viewing homes. Let the Realtor know the price range of what you can afford or are willing to spend.

7. Check the neighborhood. Is it safe? Do you need to be close to schools, public transportation, shopping areas, your place of work, or recreational facilities?

8. Check the inside as well as the outside of the home you are considering buying. When you are buying, you will probably be excited and overlook things. It may be wise to be accompanied by a professional home inspector. A real estate inspector will look for and identify potential and existing problems with regard to air conditioning, plumbing, heating, HVAC, electrical systems, roofing, foundation & structural, walls & windows, drainage, or ventilation. He will also check for any safety or health-related problems and code violations.

9. If you’ve finally decided on buying a home, negotiate before someone else does. But don’t rush into making a final decision. Your experienced agent should be able to handle the negotiations for you, and you should feel completely comfortable with the final price before making your decision.

10. After you reach a mutually agreed upon price with the seller, you will bring in a lawyer. Your agent and lawyer will prepare the black-and-white legal paperwork and then sign the documents. You should be finished and ready well before the closing date. Once the agreement has been completed, you can start preparing to move into your new home.

Related resources for purchase offer fundamentals: Deal in Details | Home Buying Process | Home Buying Cycle | Home Buying Considerations | Purchase Offer Basics | Offer Price Influences

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