Buying a residence can be a stressful experience. You will experience a roller coaster of emotions while finding the right place, securing the loan, and finally moving in. For most of us, the first time home purchase is the largest investment we’ve ever considered. The emotions of purchasing something so expensive and personal can often cloud our business judgment.
Be A Detective
Check out all costs and expenses before you sign, including utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and home owner dues if applicable. Make sure all utilities (gas, electricity, and water) are on during your walk-through so you can inspect everything in working order. Ask lots of questions and be very detail conscious.
Do A Final Walk-Through
Visit the property after all furnishings have been moved out to be sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely positive the property was left exactly as you had agreed upon in the contract. Things that could have been spotted in a final walk-through are often unintentionally overlooked.
If it’s not in writing, It doesn’t exist
All promises and discussions should be in writing. Don’t make any assumptions or believe any assurances. Even the best intentions can be misinterpreted. Have your professional keep an ongoing log in writing of all discussions and get the seller’s written approval on all agreements.
Imagine the Property Vacant
Your furnishings and decorations will be the ones filling this new residence. Don’t be swayed by beautiful furniture; it leaves with the owner.
Income + Lifestyle = Mortgage Payment
Sit down with your professional real estate agent and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. Take into account future considerations, children, add-ons, amenities, and fix-ups. Your dream home is certainly worth a sacrifice, but don’t mortgage your entire future.
Plan for Flexibility
Closing dates are not written in stone. Allow for contingencies and have a back-up plan. If you or the sellers need a little more time to conclude the final arrangements, don’t let these delays upset or frustrate you. These types of circumstances are not uncommon in a real estate transaction.
Utilize Your Team
By aligning yourself with the right real estate professional, you will have an entire team at your disposal. Utilize your lender, title rep, and agent. Each of them should work hand in hand for your benefit. Explore all the options before you sign.
View Several Homes
See at least 7-10 properties. Don’t move too slowly, but don’t move on the first property you see. With your agent’s help, you should be able to view enough properties to get a good overall perspective of the home market. When you find the right property, all the leg work will be worth it.