1. Get Pre-Approved For You Loan
It’s important to shop for a mortgage BEFORE you purchase a home, most lenders will ‘pre-approve’ buyers for a mortgage. It’s a no cost, no obligation deal that lets you know before you start house hunting or sign an offer to purchase, how much you can afford to buy based on how much you can afford to borrow.
With this pre-approval, you are in a stronger position to buy a home when you’re ready, rather than finding your dream home and losing it to another buyer because you were waiting on the approval. You can confidently negotiate the purchase of a home knowing mortgage financing is arranged, subject to final property appraisal.
2. Find A Great Real Estate Representative
Once you’ve decided to buy a home, you need to find a great real estate agent. What you’re looking for is a Buyer’s Agent. This means that the agent represents you as the buyer, rather than the person selling the home. They will have your best interests at heart. Really good Buyer’s Agents know their markets, and will help you find the best match for your needs and wants. Also, look for a Buyer’s Agent with the ABR designation. These agents have taken additional courses to better serve home buyer.
3. Make Sure You Know What You Want
As simple as this sounds, many home buyers don’t have a firm idea of what they want before they go out searching for a home. In fact, when you go shopping for a place to live, there are actually two homes competing for your attention: the one that meets your needs and the one that fulfills your desires. Obviously, your goal is to find one home that does both, but in the real world, this situation doesn’t always occur.
When you’re looking at homes, you will find that you will fall in love with one home or another for entirely different reasons. Is it better to buy the four bedroom home with room for your family to grow, or the one with the big eat-in kitchen that romances you
with thoughts of big weekend family brunches? What’s more important: a big back yard or proximity to your child’s school? Far too often people buy a home for the wrong reason and then regret their decision when the home doesn’t meet their needs.
Don’t shop with stars in your eyes: satisfy your needs first. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a home that does this and also fulfills your desires. The important thing is to understand the difference before you get caught up in the excitement of looking.
Click here for a Home Buyer’s Checklist.
4. Look Before You Leap
Drive around the neighbourhood at different times of the day. Get out an walk around and chat with neighbourbours. Drive to the grocery store, bank anywhere that you’ll frequent. Visit nearby schools and see for yourself how the kids behave and how the grounds look. The point is to see if this is really the type of neighbourhood you want to live in BEFORE you make an offer.
5. Be Prepared
Make sure your contract has reasonable contingencies included to protect you as the buyer. Reasonable can be things like – approval by a home inspector and your insurance company. For the long-term investment, make sure that you buy homeowners insurance and upgrade it as the value of your new home and it’s contents increase.
6. Be Reasonable
No home will be without flaws. Many times it’s these flaws that lend character to older homes, but nonetheless, it will take some work to personalize any home.