I found an article on CNNMoney.com giving great tips to know before buying a home so I wanted to share them with you. Enjoy!
1. Don’t Buy If You Can’t Stay Put
If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, owning isn’t for you…at least not right now. There are a lot of additional costs associated with buying a home so you want to ensure you are going to get your money’s worth. On another note, with the market being the way it is, you don’t want to be stuck with a home you can’t afford and/or aren’t living in.
2. Start By Ensuring You Have Good Credit
Since you will more than likely need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you will need to make sure your credit is in good standing. Get copies of your credit report a few months before you start house hunting. Make sure the fax are correct and fix as many dings as you can.
3. Aim For A Home You Can Really Afford
The rule of thumb is that you can buy a house 2.5 times your annual salary. Look online for a calculator to determine what range you should be looking in. Debts and expenses have a huge affect on what you can really afford.
4. If You Can’t Put Down The Usual 20%, You May Still Qualify For A Loan
There are quite a few lenders out there who offer low-interest mortgages that require a small down payment (upon approval, of course).
5. Buy In A District With Good Schools
Even if you do not have kids, you should still buy within a good school district. Reason being, when you want to turn around and sell your home, top school districts are a top priority for many buyers so your property value will be increased.
6. Get Professional Help
The internet can be a great source for home buyers; many agents even offer free listings online. However, you will always be better off going through a professional agent because they know all of the ins and outs of home buying that you may not.
7. Choose Carefully Between Points And Rates
When choosing the best mortgage option for you, you usually have the option of paying a portion of the interest at closing in exchange for a lower interest rate. The lower interest rate will save you a lot of money in the long run so it’s definitely a great route to go.
8. Before House Hunting, Get Pre-Approval
There’s nothing worse than looking for houses, finding some you really like, and then finding out you can’t afford them. Always get pre-approved before house hunting so you know your price range.
9. Do Your Homework Before Bidding
Check to see what similar houses in the neighborhood were recently sold for. This will give you a good idea of what the value of a home is in that neighborhood. You opening bid should be based off of the neighborhood sales trend. If homes were going for 5% less than the asking price, make your opening bid 10% less. You will always be able to work with the seller from there.
10. Hire A Home Inspector
Your lender will require a home appraisal but you should also hire your own home inspector. They will point out potential problems with the home that could be costly down the road. This all affects the value of the home.
These are just a few tips you should follow when looking to purchase a home. There are many more!
Good luck in your house hunt…I hope you find what you’re looking for when the time comes!
Please let me know if I can answer any questions or be of assistance.