Buying a home can go two ways: it can either be a stressful experience or a smooth transaction. In our years in the real estate industry, we’ve found that the best way to purchase a home without having to deal with issues is to be prepared. Are you? Here are five questions that will guide you to a great home-buying experience.
1. What kind of home are you looking for?
Houses come in different types, sizes, and styles. To help you narrow down your search for a home, identify early on what kind of home suits your needs the most.
The most common types of homes in the market include single-family homes, co-ops, condo, townhouses, and multi-family residences. There are also historic homes, luxury properties, and fixer-uppers. Each have their own set of pros and cons that you’ll need to carefully consider alongside your own needs, long-term plans, and financial capability.
2. What are the features you’re looking for in a home?
Another way to trim down your home search is to make a list of must-have features. This can include basic preferences like the size of the home, the style, or the location. You can also include home amenities and details, your preferred layout, etc.
While you make your must-haves list, don’t forget to take into account your needs and long-term goals. It’s also important to retain some flexibility, just in case you don’t find the home that fits your criteria. Most of the time, compromise can lead to beautiful results.
3. What kind of mortgage do you qualify for?
Before you start your home search, it’s imperative you assess your current financial situation. Do you need to improve your credit rating, or is it better than ever? What are the things you need in order to qualify for the mortgage you’re eyeing? And if you are clueless about mortgages, what kind works best for your needs?
These are a lot of questions. For first-time home buyers, sit down with a mortgage expert to find out which mortgage is best for you. Once you find the mortgage you qualify for, get pre-approved. This will come in handy when you finally place an offer on a home.
4. How much home can you afford?
You have your list and you have your mortgage, but how much home can you afford? Many first-time home buyers think it’s fine to borrow this amount of money just because the bank said it will lend you that much. As a result, they end up buying a home but struggle to pay for other needs and utilities.
The good news is you can easily avoid that outcome by figuring out how much home you can actually afford. Consider the amount your chosen lender will give you, and when you look for a home, don’t forget to take into account other related costs. Look at the total cost (including the property taxes, down payment, HOA insurance, maintenance, closing fees) and not just the monthly mortgage payments.
5. Who is going to guide you throughout the home buying process?
Some home buyers think that the best course of action is to do it themselves. The best path that will lead to a smooth and stress-free home buying experience, however, is to find a local real estate agent. Thankfully, you need not go far. Redwood Realty is here to help you sort out your home-buying needs. We are local experts– we can easily help you find the home that suits your budget, your needs, and your lifestyle.