Jay’s Note: I’ve been trying to get Francy to write a post for
monthsyears. Today, after handling email inquires from two first time buyers, she finally caved.
For most of us buying a home is the most expensive purchase in our life. Making the right choices can save time, money and future headaches. We are often asked about the process and I thought it might be helpful for home buyers to have an actual list with some references. Whether you’re a home buying novice or you’ve purchased a home before the process is pretty much the same:
Talk with a lender. This important first step is sometimes skipped over by even the experienced buyer. Nothing can be more disappointing than finding a home that you love only to realize that you either cannot obtain a loan or you cannot afford the payment for that property. Lenders have tightened their criteria in the last year. Even if you currently own a home it may be difficult to obtain a new loan with a payment you can afford.
Evaluate your needs vs. your wants. This includes location (where do you need to live vs. how far are you willing to commute). Do you need a den or can you get by without one? Is a pool a must or would you like to have a pool? Some “wants” can be difficult to locate in some price ranges. Knowing what you cannot live without can be very helpful when beginning your home search.
Choose a Real Estate Professional. Choosing the right agent to represent you can make the rest of the process easier. Real estate agents are *not* all the same. Experience and expertise can vary greatly. Is your next door neighbor or your cousin’s friend really the best choice for you? A common mistake is that a potential buyer will locate the property before locating an agent. The agent listed on the ”˜for sale’ sign already has an agreement to represent the best interests of the seller. Although they can help you purchase the property with what is called “dual agency” it is extremely difficult for one agent to give their best representation to both parties. Another problem we often see with first time buyers is that they view a lot of properties with a number of different agents. Once you have been shown a home by an agent, that agent is considered to be working with you for that particular property. This can be a difficult situation if you locate the perfect home but you happen to be with an agent you don’t feel comfortable working with.
Coming Monday – We’ll cover the remaining steps in the process!