Having a well conceived, home purchasing plan ahead of time isn’t just a good idea, it’s key to ensuring you find the right home, in the right place, at the right price, while avoiding some common pitfalls that can snare unsuspecting buyers. Here are seven vital steps to help you make a successful home purchase:
- Decide on a price ahead of time, and stick to it: Examine your budget and set a maximum figure before venturing into the market.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage: There’s no sense shopping for a home if you don’t qualify for a mortgage. Shop around, determine which mortgage type works best for you, and have the funds ready before you go house shopping.
- Choose your location wisely: Be diligent on researching potential neighborhoods. Talk with neighbors, check the school system, and spend time in the area. A mediocre house in a great neighborhood is better than a fabulous house in the bad part of town.
- Get a real estate agent: Even real estate agents usually purchase homes though other agents. They’re the experts, and when the technical legalities start cropping up, you’ll be thankful for their guidance and experience.
- Don’t skimp on the home inspection: Always hire a professional inspector to check out a potential home before finalizing the deal, even if one was already performed by the realtor or home owner.
- Look for homes that have been on the market for awhile: The best deals usually come from homes that have been on the market for at least 90 days, and in this market, there are plenty of homes out there.
- Be patient: Be prepared to “hurry up and wait” when it comes to the home buying process. A two to three month timeframe from start to finish isn’t unheard of, but as the saying goes, the best things come to those who wait.