Buying a house means a lot of factors to be assessed, from your own personal finance to a lot of sneak-peaking into other people’s backyards, just to check on how they’re doing. Once you got set on the idea of purchasing your dream home, no matter how it looks like or where it is located, you need to keep in mind that the process is not always easy and risk free. Let’s first consider money and timing: prices are still affordable but the market is getting stronger by the minute, so keep in touch with your agent at all times. Remember that closing a deal means some necessary steps to make and some strategies to implement. Whether you have an already accepted contract, you’re into a short sale or you’re aiming for a Real Estate Owned house, the actual moving depends on how much you can afford or how much the paper work will take. Maybe you thought about renting first, to check the area, and then close a deal. It’s a common practice and even if it’s time and money consuming, it may be worth it. After all, you’re going to live there for a while. But let’s take the steps one at a time.
1. Learn how much you can afford
It would be preferable to begin with choosing the house first, but to be realistic, money becomesthe number one priority when deciding to own your first house. Some people get easily confused when it comes to extensive calculations regarding the down payment percent, mortgage, loan affordability, average interest, pre-buying and post-buying taxes and so on. Getting help is what’s wise to do, as there are companies which will assist you every step of the way: from choosing the right property for you (among some you really like to consider your best options) to mortgage and loan solutions, rates comparisons, correct after buying tax calculations. Take into account all the expenses, including local neighborhood taxes, local landscaping taxes, service contracting (electricity, water, gas, garbage, you name it), annual taxes and so on. Learn more about these options before stepping into the unknown, it’s the best advice one can follow.
2. Choose your house
This is actually the best part. You know how much you can afford and you already have some ideas of suitable properties for you. Now you have to decide where and how you are going to live. Besides exterior and interior design, facilities, utilities, local taxes and future residential developments, you need to make sure the house fits your and your family’s profile and needs. Remember that the neighborhood and the area is part of what you’re buying. This is why many people prefer to rent before buying or to move to residential areas that come endowed with almost everything a person can ask for. And becoming a part of a community or making the community to accept you may not be always easy. Check the area carefully and then pick your dream house. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to think about the time spent in traffic for getting to and from work, the existent nearby schools for the children, parking space, stores and service providers, entertainment facilities and so on. And by all means possible, make sure the house doesn’t need additional costly repairs and interventions, as you will have to remake your financial plan from scratch.
3. Offer, negotiate, close
You have the money and you chose the house. Now it’s time to make the offer. Usually, your real estate agent takes care of business, from preparing the contract, to advising you how to counteract counter – offers and to negotiate with the seller, to service providers’ coordination (and we are talking about home examination, home insurance, additional home warranty and so on). You can read the contracts, take advice from your personal lawyer, apply your own negotiating skills with the seller, check by yourself all these providers, but you can’t do them alone. A professional, well prepared and smart real estate agent is the second wisest decision you can make after the primordial one of buying a house. Working with a professional can save you time, money and effort and will bring you faster to the final step of the process: closing a deal. Shaking hands with the seller is the most important part. Make sure everybody has all the right documents and what you sign is what you paid for. No matter what compromise you are available to accept or whatever changes and agreements take place between you and the seller, make sure they are all in writing. It took you time and money to get to this point, you need to be protected at all cost.