Before buying a home, consider these 10 basic tips.
1. Get prequalified first. Don't wait until you've found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage. This will save you time and money. Presenting an offer with our prequalification letter will make your bid much more attractive to Sellers. Don't wait until you've found a home and made an offer to get prequalified for a mortgage.
2. Work with a Realtor you like and trust. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It's critical that the Realtor you choose is both skilled and a good fit with your personality.
3. Remember, there is no "right" time to buy, any more than there is a right time to sell. If you find a home now, don't try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting. Changes don't usually occur fast enough to make that much of a difference in price and a good home won't stay on the market very long.
4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. Focus in on the things that are most important to you and let the minor ones go.
5. In today's market, negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to "win" by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you love.
6. Remember your home doesn't exist in a vacuum. Don't get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself - room size, kitchen - that you forget such issues as amenities, noise level, etc., which have a big impact on what it's like to live in your new home.
7. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be some costs. Don't leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
8. Accept that a little buyer's remorse is inevitable and will pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big commitment, but it also yields big benefits.
9. Don't ask for too many opinions. It's natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas will make it much harder to make a decision.
10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of more than 4 percent annually over the past three decades. A home's most important role is to be a comfortable, safe place to live for you and your family.
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