Purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. While the advantages of homeownership are numerous, there are also some factors that may make it less appealing for some.
Understanding what to look for in a new home can help you narrow down your choices and find a house that will fit perfectly. Here are 7 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home.
- Do Your Homework
Buying a home is an important, life-changing decision. It can also be overwhelming and time-consuming. But if you do your homework, the process will be as painless as possible.
A hopeful homeowner should start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage, checking their credit and fixing any mistakes before they begin looking at properties. They should also be familiar with the costs of homeownership, including a down payment, mortgage payments, maintenance and insurance.
Next, they should make a list of their priorities. It should include both objective criteria, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as subjective items, such as whether they want to be close to a park or Walmart.
- Know Your Budget
Purchasing a home can be a long-term commitment, and it’s important to consider the entire picture before making such a large purchase. It is helpful to make a list of your family’s priorities and stick to that list throughout the buying process.
Monthly costs like property taxes, homeowners insurance, utility bills and routine maintenance should also be considered before making the decision to buy a house. It is a good idea to get pre approved before looking at houses to ensure that you’re not overextending yourself. It will also help you narrow down the search and avoid looking at homes that are out of your price range.
- Make a List of Must-Haves
It’s important to understand what your must-haves are before you start viewing homes. Then, you can determine which features you are willing to compromise on and which ones are non-negotiable.
It’s also helpful to consider your needs not only today but in the future. For example, if you’re planning to have children, you may want to ensure the home has enough space for them to grow into.
You should also consider your desired neighborhood and style of house. Do you prefer an older home with character or a newer, turn-key model?
- Know Your Credit Score
Having excellent credit helps you qualify for better mortgage loan rates, and it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. That’s because lenders consider your credit history, payment history and debt utilization when evaluating your application.
If your low credit score stems from collections, write-offs or late payments, a lender may decline your loan application or offer less-than-favorable terms. However, if your low score is the result of an unpaid medical bill or a temporary financial setback, you can usually overcome it by getting back on track and improving your credit over time.
- Be Ready to Negotiate
Buying a home is a big financial decision, so you want to make sure you’re prepared. By doing the legwork — such as digging into debt, building an emergency fund and getting pre-approved for a mortgage — you can be ready to buy your dream house with confidence.
It’s important to know that you may need to negotiate with a seller. For example, if the seller has a pressing need to sell quickly because of a new job or upcoming family move, they might be willing to lower the asking price.
- Know Your Home Inspection Options
A home inspection is a vital part of the purchasing process. It can help you identify hidden defects, such as latent structural damage or pest infestation, which could be costly to repair after the sale.
If you find problems with a property, you can ask the seller to make repairs or lower the purchase price. Alternatively, you can withdraw your offer and keep shopping for the right property.
You may also be able to use the home inspection report as leverage in negotiations, but some buyers waive this contingency to make their offers more appealing to sellers. For more information, look into Cinch HomeServices recommended blog for tips and advice on home services before you buy.
- Know Your Closing Date
Closing day is when the home’s title is transferred from the seller to the buyer. This usually takes place within 30-50 days after the initial offer, depending on what issues come up during the closing process.
There are several factors that can delay the closing date, such as a problem with the home inspection, an issue found during the title search or something discovered by the appraiser. However, there are things that you can do to help speed up the process. For example, it’s best to schedule the closing for early in the morning on a weekday.