As soon as you know all of the expenses involved and have determined what you'll be able to comfortably afford, it’s time for you to start the search for your home. Below are some tips that will go a long way in your search and will go a long way in reducing stress and problems that could cost you in the long run.
Find a Great Real Estate Agent
A knowledgeable real estate agent can be an important partner in your home buying journey. They can help you discover your dream home and present an offer to the seller on your behalf. When trying to find an agent, a great place to start is by asking your friends and family member for a referral. You'll also want to speak to a number of agents before deciding which is the right agent for you. A few factors to think about when searching for the right agent are:
All agents and brokers are required to be licensed by the state where they do business. A quick search can confirm that your agent’s license is in good standing and that no disciplinary action has been taken against them.
Knowledge & Experience
Has your agent been practicing for only a handful of years, or are they a seasoned expert? Are they familiar and well-versed in your specific market? Are they unafraid to negotiate to get you the most beneficial price? These are all significant things to think about if you want to ensure that you'll find a suitable agent.
Certainly one of the most effective strategies to determine a good real estate agent is by what their previous clients have to say about them, so you'll want to read their online reviews prior to picking an agent. This will provide you with details on the the feedback and experiences of other people who were in your situation, and can help you form a much more informed decision.
Finding Your Ideal Home
House hunting can be an exciting but tiring activity. Knowing what you should look for and how to keep track of your options can be challenging. Some factors when viewing a home are:
- Safety of the Neighborhood
- Community Life and Culture
- Quality of Schools
- Local property values
- Additional costs (such as HOA fees)
- Flooring, windows, and ceiling
- Bathrooms and kitchen
- Foundation, driveway, and pool
- Landscaping and curb appeal
Making an Offer
As soon as you have identified the property you like, it is time for you to make an offer. An offer, or purchase agreement, is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. This might consist of but is not limited to:
- Address and legal house description
- Purchase price
- Down payment
- Earnest money to be paid
- Offer Expiration date
- Settler's commitment for a clear title
- Target closing date
- Target move-in date
- Any contingencies the agreement is subject to, including the buyer’s obligation to acquire a mortgage or obtain a home inspection
Depending on your state, these documents may be prepared by your real estate agent or it may require the services of a real estate attorney. Whatever the case, it is likely that you may receive a counter offer from the seller before they completely sign off on the agreement.
Earnest Money: What does it mean?
Earnest money is a deposit put down when making an offer. It is a show of good faith on your intentions and seriousness toward the transaction. While the amount may vary, it is typically between 1% and 3% of the purchase price. It gets held in an escrow account until the transaction is finalized, at which point it will go toward your down payment.
Following both parties have signing the purchase agreement, it is time to get a home inspection. Depending on where you are purchasing, a home inspection may not be required to purchase a property, however it is strongly advised. In some circumstances it might be a contingency of the purchase agreement, which means it will have to take place, or the transaction will be void.
Why It’s Best To Get a Home Inspection
A home inspection is a comprehensive assessment of the property which evaluates the home’s structural as well as mechanical condition and points out any sort of important repairs. On average, an inspection costs between $300 and $500, typically cost can vary according to the location, age, and dimensions of the residence. While a home inspection will cost you a modest amount of money up front, it could possibly help you fully understand exactly what you are purchasing. For example, should the home require significant repairs, an inspection will let you fully understand ahead of time. Bear in mind, chances are that you may have the ability to discuss with the seller the possibility of them to cover the costs of the repairs.