LOOKING FOR A HOME
The number one reason most people buy a home is the simple desire to own a home of their own. One of the major benefits of homeownership is that homeowners accumulate wealth for the future while enjoying the benefits of a residence they can use, improve and enjoy.
Simply put, you will either be paying cash for a home, or obtaining a loan. When obtaining a loan, the mortgage specialist will review your income, credit, savings, and debt to see how much home you can afford. There are many loan programs in existence and your mortgage professional will help you sort that all out to find the best loan for you. Early in the process, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. It enables you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and can afford to buy the property.
Evaluating a neighborhood and surrounding areas thoroughly is essential.
When you buy a home, you’re investing in a community. You’ll spend a significant amount of time and money supporting the schools, community organizations and shopping centers in the area. Before you make the final decision, take a good look at the location and make sure it fits your lifestyle. For Example:
- Evaluate the property’s proximity to other important locations in your life. How long will your commute time be? Is there a hospital or doctor’s office nearby? Are there schools, childcare, shopping, family and friends close to the home's location?
- Consider transportation and traffic patterns. Take the time to drive from the new home to your commuting destinations and get a sense of what your daily life will be like.
- Make sure you feel comfortable in the area. Drive around the neighborhood to observe activity and noise levels. An educated buyer is a happy buyer!
Buying a home is more than the structure and the property; it is about your lifestyle as well.
Buying a new home and selling an existing home at the same time has its own set of challenges. With knowledgeable planning, you can ensure everything goes smoothly.
Before putting your house on the market or committing to buying a new one, take a look at prices of the houses in the areas where you’ll be selling and buying. You’ll need a realistic idea of sales prices for similar houses, so you can assess both your buying and selling positions. Your CENTURY 21 Nachman agent will be able to provide you with good counsel and all of your options including selling and property management.
Buying a second home isn’t all that different from buying a first home. Affording it usually depends on your cash reserves or your ability to qualify for a mortgage on the second home. Benefits include a getaway for the family on vacations or holidays, a future retirement home, or renters making your mortgage payments for you while you build equity.
Keep in mind that if you declare it as a rental, your mortgage and down payment might be slightly higher than a standard owner-occupied mortgage.
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will make. That is why it’s in your best interest to choose an experienced real estate agent who listens to and understands your needs, and has detailed knowledge of the area in which you want to live.
When you choose a CENTURY 21 Nachman agent you are dealing with a professional who understands your concerns and will provide you with the personalized service that makes all the difference in your experience.
What should you expect in your first meeting with a CENTURY 21 Nachman agent? Your agent will typically talk to you about the neighborhood(s) where you want to live, home prices, schools, number of bedrooms, baths and amenities that are important to you. They will typically discuss your commute to work and surrounding areas such as shopping and recreational facilities. They will also address agency representation and will ask you if you have been pre-approved for your loan (unless you are paying cash).
When you are ready to visit houses, your agent will arrange the showings by setting up appointments and following the seller's instructions for the viewing of their house. They will help track the properties you have seen and will help identify homes that meet your criteria. Your agent will also keep track of your “what’s right for you” list. You and your CENTURY 21 Nachman agent will develop a rating system to help narrow the field. For example, pick the house you like best on day one, so day two you can compare back to it.
Once you have found your ideal house, it’s time to get started with the financial and contractual side of the purchase. You may only get one chance to make an offer that the seller will consider. That’s why it’s important to think carefully about your strategy Let your CENTURY 21 Nachman professional guide you through the process.
What happens after you have negotiated the contract? Your CENTURY 21 Nachman agent will provide you guidance after the sale is negotiated.
Congratulations! You’ve made an offer and reviewed all the documents the seller had provided regarding the condition of the home. The next step is to hire a professional home inspector to give the house a standard inspection that includes:
- Room by Room Review
- Exterior Home Components
- Electrical Systems
- Foundation and Structural Components – both interior and exterior
- Heating/Air Conditioning Systems
- Plumbing Systems
- Attic/Crawl Spaces/Basement
Once you have arranged for a home inspection, plan to accompany the inspector for the entire procedure. A thorough home inspection covers many items from foundation to roof. The inspection takes two to three hours depending on the size and age of the property. The report should reflect the condition of the items.
Protecting your new home with insurance is a MUST! How well you do that depends on the details of your policy. While you are not required by law to have homeowners insurance, mortgage lenders require that you do.
At settlement, often called “closing,” you will review and sign your loan documents, bring a certified check for any funds due, and receive the keys to your new home. Your deed will then be recorded at the courthouse. You now may begin to enjoy the many benefits of homeownership.