I have received several calls from people who are planning to buy their first home over the summer. I tend to get the same questions, so I thought I’d put together a list of things to do before looking for a home.
1. Get pre-approved.
I can’t stress this enough. People tend to drag their feet getting pre-approved. The reason why it is so important isn’t just so you know what amount of money you are approved for. You also need to know how much you might need to save up for a down-payment. Cleaning up any credit blemishes is another reason to get pre-approved as soon as possible.
2. Put together a plan for how you will save up the money for that down-payment.
The amount needed for a down-payment can be quite a chunk of money. Another thing that needs to be considered is extra money for unexpected expenses. If you are getting a foreclosed property or if you want to update the home you have chosen, having extra money set aside is a must.
3. Decide where you would like to live.
There are a million reason’s why a particular city is picked out. The homes might be more affordable, you love the night life of the area, or maybe the area is close to friends and family. What ever your reason, it is much easier to find a home you will love when you have an area picked out as being perfect for your personal needs.
4. Start shopping taxes.
This really goes hand in hand with picking the area you will live in. It’s amazing how two cities next to each other can have such a wide range in what is taxed on homeowners. You should be aware of how much you can afford and how the taxes will play into your decision. Maybe the taxes are low and you will be able to afford more home. On the other hand, maybe the taxes are incredibly high, but the lure of the location is enough for you to go for the smaller home because you love the neighborhood you are choosing.
5. Get familiar with what you want in a home and how realistic it might be.
At Real Estate One, we have a free program where we send emails to the customer which show homes for sale. The homes the customer views take into account the criteria that is important to the customer. Let’s say the customer names 3 cities as possible choices. The home should have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a garage and 1400 sq ft minimum. The criteria will be set and the customer will get email updates with pictures and information on homes that fit those needs.
It’s a great program in that it gives the potential homeowner a peek at what is available with the criteria they have chosen. If the choices are sparse, the customer can tweak their criteria and see if they fare better with what is available.
If you are interested in discussing how you can get into a new home or maybe you have a home you need to sell, give me a call. I would be happy to help you set up a plan to get ready to move and then find the home of your dreams.