Buying A Home
To relieve some of the stress that comes with the home buying experience, I've put together a few suggestions to help you with such a big decision.
Drive the Neighborhood - Before you buy, get the lay of the land – drop by in the morning, night, and if possible, on the weekend. Do your regular commute from the house to make sure it is something you can deal with on a daily basis. Find out how far it is to the nearest grocery store and other services.
Making an Offer - Your opening bid should be based on two things: what you can afford (because you don’t want to outbid yourself), and what you really believe the property is worth. Make your opening bid something that’s fair. Your agent can guide you with a range that is fair.
Get a Home Inspection - A home inspector’s sole responsibility is to provide you with information so that you can make a decision as to whether or not to buy. It’s really the only way to get an unbiased third-party opinion.
Timing the Market - Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the best time to buy. Trying to anticipate the housing market is impossible. The best time to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it. Real estate is cyclical, it goes up and it goes down and it goes back up again.
Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan - There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you.
Keep Your Money Where It Is - It’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new home. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible.