Buying a home is an exciting adventure. However, if you are not prepared it can quickly escalate into frustration. Our realtors at Pivach Real Estate, LLC want to make sure your buying experience is an "exciting adventure" and compiled some important information to help you along the way.
KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD: Before you begin your search, talk to a mortgage loan officer to get prequalified first to see how much you can afford. Nothing is more upsetting than to find the perfect home and then find out you cannot afford it.
Get a good faith estimate from your loan officer on your total note. Make sure your total note includes both home owners and flood insurance plus any property taxes that might be owed. In addition, make sure you ask about PMI insurance. Depending on the type of loan you will be procuring you might have to pay private mortgage insurance to procure the loan.
If you aren’t in the range you want to be or if your credit is lacking, a mortgage loan officer can help get you there. They will also tell you if there are programs like first time home buyers, bond money available or down payment assistance.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT HOUSE POOR: Remember you will still have other bills to pay and a life to lead. Ask yourself what potential large expenditures you could have in the next five years when deciding what house to buy.
REALTORS: Do you have a qualified realtor who can assist you and protect your interests in the buying process? Find a realtor that you trust, feel comfortable working with, gives you the attention you need, and knows the areas you want to call home.
And remember, ANY realtor can show another realtor's listings. Some realtors would have you believe that since their sign is on the property, they are the only one that can show the property.
Furthermore, not all real estate websites are created equal. Mistakes are made all the time. Use a realtor to protect your interests!
GET A FEEL FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Always drive by the neighborhoods you are considering in the late afternoon or weekends when everyone is home. This is the easiest way to find out if you would feel comfortable calling the house home. Are people in the area maintaining their property?
SCHOOL DISTRICTS: School districts are important even if you don't have children as it could have an effect when you sell your home.
YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD THE PRETTY STUFF LATER: What features are most important to you? If the space and location fits your criteria, maybe you can add the pool, landscaping, etc. at a later date.
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE: Is the current owner maintaining the property? When maintenance problems are dealt with quickly, there is less chance for hidden problems. Well maintained homes tend to last longer.
How easy is it to maintain the home you are considering?
CHECK WITH YOUR INSURANCE AGENT: Check with your insurance agent to obtain a quote before submitting an offer. Insurance quotes vary based upon location, age of the home, roof type, exterior construction, etc.
INSPECTIONS: Make sure you have all inspections done on the house prior to going to the act of sale. You may have any type of inspection - under slab video pipe inspection, general inspection, heating and a/c, mold and foundation are just some of the available inspections. If the home has a well water system or is not on a city sewer system, those systems must be checked prior to closing. Just keep in mind you will be responsible for paying for the inspections.
FLOOD ZONE: What is the flood zone? This will determine whether you can purchase flood insurance and at what cost.
TITLE INSURANCE: Make sure you purchase owner's title insurance! Ask your loan officer or realtor about this type of insurance. Even with a title search, unexpected things can come up and be costly for you. Title Insurance can protect you. For more information, please read our blog on Title Insurance.