Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will make. That’s why it’s in your best interest to choose an experienced real estate agent who listens to and understands your needs, and knows well the area where you want to live.
Despite slowdowns in some markets, housing remains a good long-term investment. Home ownership offers immediate benefits and long-term value. Homeowners accumulate wealth for the future while enjoying the benefits of a shelter that they can use, improve and enjoy.
Selecting a buyer’s agent to help you find your dream home is an important first step. He or she can represent the buyer’s interest in a real estate transaction. Before making a decision, however, have a REALTOR® explain the pros and cons of using a buyer’s agent versus a sales or dual agent.
When you’re ready to visit houses, here is what I will to help you with:
After touring each home, write down what you liked and didn’t like. Develop a rating system that will help narrow the field. For example, pick the house you like best on day one and compare all other houses to it. When you find a better one, use the new favorite as the standard.
“Finding the right real estate agent can make you a savvy consumer and improve your overall experience.”
No two buying experiences are the same, but some people find the process of buying a home a little daunting and sometimes overwhelming. Finding the right real estate agent can make you a savvy consumer and improve your overall experience. A KELLER WILLIAMS agent can help you capitalize on current market opportunities and assist you in making an informed decision to get you on your path home.
Here’s why I am the agent for you:
What’s right for you?
Are you looking for a home? Before deciding which house to buy, think about your lifestyle, your current and anticipated housing needs, and your budget. It’s a good idea to create a prioritized list of features you want in your next home – you’ll soon discover finding the right house involves striking a balance between your “must-haves” and your “nice-to-haves.”
To start, consider your lifestyle. If you love to cook, you’ll want a well-equipped kitchen. If you’re into gardening, you’ll want a yard. If you’re planning your office at home, you may want a room for a separate library or work space. If you have several cars, you may require a larger garage. Use this list as your search guide.
Next, think about what you might need in the future. As you consider your housing needs, it’s important to consider how long you may live in your home. If you’re newly married, you might not be concerned with a school district right now, but you could be in a few years. If you have aging parents, you may want to look at homes that offer living arrangements for them as well as you.
It’s important to think about your new home’s location just as carefully as you do about a house’s features. Location is a huge part of any move. In addition to considering the distance to work, you need to evaluate the availability of shopping, police and fire protection, medical facilities, school and day-care, traffic and parking, trash and garbage collection, even recreational facilities.
Another important decision is the type of home you want. Do you want a condominium or a co-op? A town house or a detached single-family home? Do you want brick, stone, stucco, wood, vinyl siding, or something else? Do you prefer a new home or an older one?
Single family homes have good appreciation, offer the opportunity for gardens, provide more privacy, and are generally quieter. But, they’re usually more expensive than Condos and Townhomes and require more maintenance. Alternatively, Condos, Townhomes, and Cooperatives are typically less expensive than comparable single-family homes and typically require no yard or exterior maintenance. However, they do offer less privacy, tend to be noisier, and have common walls, floors and/or ceilings, not to mention additional expenses, like association fees.
Be sure to talk to your real estate professional about where you want to live and what’s most important to you. While more buyers now use the Internet to gain access to listings, or available properties for sale, it is still a good idea to use an agent. The agent brings value to the entire home buying process: he or she is available to analyze data, answer questions, share their professional expertise, and handle all the paperwork and legwork that is involved in the real estate transaction. KELLER WILLIAMS professionals have the expertise to help their clients narrow their choices by sharing market trends and local information.
How Much can you afford?
Now that you know what you’re looking for, the next step is figuring out what type of home you can afford. A review of your income, savings, monthly expenses, and debt will be necessary.
Early on in the process, you’ll want to get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan, which helps determine how much you can afford.
Being pre-qualified enables you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and can afford to buy the property. A pre-approval is a simple calculation done by a mortgage lender that tells you the amount you’ll be able to finance through a loan and what your monthly payment will be. When you find a home to buy, a pre-approval also reassures the seller that you have the financial means to purchase the home.
Knowing what you can afford is the first rule of home buying, and that depends on how much income and how much debt you have. It pays to check with several lenders before you start searching for a home.
The price you can afford to pay for a home will depend on several factors, such as:
Another figure lenders use to evaluate how much you can afford is the housing expense-to-income ratio. It is determined by calculating your projected monthly housing expense, which consists of the principal and interest payment, property tax payments and insurance premiums on your new home loan (also known as PITI). Each buyer is unique and a KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY mortgage partner can help you find out just what you can afford. Your income and your debts will typically play the biggest roles in determining your price range.
Know the neighborhood
When you buy a home, you’re investing in a community, KELLER WILIAMS REALTY agents are community experts and can help you find the right area to meet your lifestyle needs.
You’ll spend a significant amount of time and money supporting the schools, community organizations and commercial centers in the surrounding areas. Before you make the final decision, take a good look at the location and make sure it fits your needs.
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY professionals are experts in the areas they serve. Ask your agent for a list of schools, shopping centers, parks or other important amenities. Buying a new home is about more than the structure and property. It’s about your new lifestyle as well.
Buying a property is a big step involving a substantial long-term financial commitment, so it requires a thorough assessment of what you can afford.
Making a home purchase offer isn’t a simple endeavor. Consult with a KELLER WILLIAMS agent with the experience and expertise to assist you in making a successful offer.
Closing your purchase
Home inspection is a major step in the buying process. KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY offers helpful information on potential problems that can be discovered during this period.
Homeowners insurance protects you against natural disasters and catastrophic events. Find more related information by contacting your agent, or our broker.
Timeline and Paperwork
In the home buying process, the closing meeting is where ownership of the home is officially transferred to you. Know what to expect when you close on your new home.