Buyers – What You Should Know
Buying a home in this market can be a very intimidating process, especially if you do not know where and how to start. We work with a wide range of buyers, from first time buyers to seasoned home purchasers. Whether you are buying a condo, townhome, house, or land, we are your local, helpful, educated real estate agents. We are delighted to be your Realtor. No town is too far, no home is too small or big, no client is not worth 110% of our team’s energy. This is our promise to you.
Below are some typical first time home-buyer questions. We have answered them, based on our personal experiences, and hope this helps you with your home search. We want you to always feel comfortable to approach us with questions, so please feel free to contact us at anytime.
Should I buy or rent?
First determine how long you will be in your home. If you plan on being there for more than three years, it is a more sound investment to purchase. Given the costs of closing, down payment, moving costs, as well as unexpected costs, it could end up being more expensive if you do not plan on living there long. Also, you will need a stable job history, as longer you have been at a steady job, the easier it will be to obtain a loan. There are exceptions to every rule, but generally you want to have been at your job for at least two years and have an established and favorable credit history. You need to be sure you can make a down payment somewhere between 3%-20%, depending on the type of loan you intend to receive. Your closing costs will, generally, range, from 3%-6% of the homes purchase price. So, roughly, if you intend to buy a house for $200,000 with 5% down payment, you will bring $10,000 for the down payment and $6,000-$12,000 for closing costs. If you are not able to part with that amount of money, maybe buying a home at this time is not for you.
What is the smartest way to go about buying a home?
Plain and simple, use a Realtor. The more research you do on your own, the more prepared you will become, the more questions will surface, and that is when your agent comes in handy. We are here to help reduce the stress of purchasing a home. We will help you view homes, negotiate for the home, and give you referrals for home inspectors, real estate attorneys, and other professionals you may require.
How do I get ready to look for a home?
There are a few steps to prepare for the home buying process:
1. Select a Realtor to work with.
2. Obtain a mortgage pre-approval in writing. Your agent can refer you to a few lenders if you do not already have a preferred one. The pre-approval will help you confine your home search to homes you can truly afford. In addition, your agent will request your pre-approval since it is necessary with the initial offer, once you find your dream home. It assures the seller that you are a serious buyer and have the financial ability to purchase their home.
3. While this process is going on, you should familiarize yourself with the market. Review the properties your agent e-mails you, read newspaper ads, look at homes online, and drive around checking out the area. Make sure to use the Internet to every advantage possible. Learn about the community, neighborhoods, average cost of a home, school districts, etc.
4. At this point, you should be ready to start viewing homes and begin to narrow down the type of home/style you inevitably wish to purchase.
What is the benefit of having a buyer’s agent?
• Help you find homes, including homes that may not be publicly advertised
• Offer you information about the community you are interested in
• Help you see a home’s true potential
• Run the neighborhood comps, so you know how much a home is worth
• Help you figure out how much to offer and make sure you avoid overpaying
• Help you negotiate the purchase price and other extras
• Help you find other professionals (inspectors, attorneys, service people, etc.)
• Help you receive access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of current and past home listings, available to participating Realtors
• Share with you our knowledge of the local market
• Help you stay objective throughout the home buying process
There are many more questions Buyers typically have. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, as we would be more than happy to help.