Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Darrell Rigley
Now that you are ready to buy your first home, where do you start- How do you make sure that you are getting a good deal on your home and that you haven-t missed anything when choosing the home and making the deal.
Here is a checklist to get you started:
1. Run your credit report and fix any problems found
2. Shop around for your mortgage in order to get the best rate available 3. Get pre-approved for your mortgage – This will tell you how much home you can afford and show potential sellers that you are serious 4. Crunch the numbers – Determine how much each $1000 in price affects your monthly payment
5. Determine your comfort zone – This most likely will be less than you are approved for
6. Check out neighborhoods you wish to live in 7. Determine your must haves vs. your like to haves for you new home – Be realistic 8. Check out the property taxes in your target areas 9. Check with your insurance agent to see how much your homeowner’s insurance will be 10. Make sure that your finances are in good order 11. Find a real estate agent that you feel that you can trust and you feel comfortable working with 12. Find a reputable home inspector – Do not let your agent, your lender, or the home seller recommend one. Remember, the home inspector should tell you what you need to know about the home so that you can make an informed decision about buying the home and what to offer
Now that you have the preliminaries out of the way, now is the time to start looking homes for sale. Keep these things in mind while looking:
1. Take a checklist of your must haves and want to haves with you
2. Take a camera so that you can take pictures – After a while, the homes will blur in your memory 3. Remember that cosmetic problems are easily fixed – Do not get hung up on the wall colors or the counter top material 4. Ignore the homeowner’s belongings – You are buying the home, not the furniture 5. Pay close attention to cracks in the walls and ceilings, water stains, etc. – These could indicate deferred maintenance 6. Pull up area rugs to make sure that they are not hiding floor or carpet problems 7. Make sure that all of the faucets work 8. Make sure that the home has not been over improved for the area 9. Ask which appliances and window treatments are included with the home 10. Make note of what changes you will have to make such as fencing in the yard for your dog or children 11. Ask about any deed restrictions that could keep you for using the land the way you want – Some homeowners associations will not allow fencing or will restrict which kinds of fencing you can install
After looking a multiple homes, you have finally chosen your new home. Now the fun part starts.
1. Have your agent check to see what comparable homes in the area are selling for or have recently sold for – This will tell you if the asking price is reasonable or not and aid you in deciding what to offer 2. Make a reasonable offer (it can be less than the asking price) 3. Make sure that the final selling price is within your comfort zone 4. Remember that you can ask for the seller to pay some or all of your closing costs 5. Remember that home buying is a negotiation process. Do not be afraid to negotiate with the seller 6. There are times when there are multiple bids on a house. Decide on your top price going in so that you do not get carried away and spend more than you want 7. Go with the home inspector when he does the inspection. Ask questions. Make sure that you know what you are getting with the home. 8. Make sure that your offer has contingency clauses covering financing and home inspection – This will allow you to walk away from the deal should your financing fall through or the home inspection reveal problems that the seller refuses to fix prior to the sale 9. Do not be afraid to walk away – There are always other homes for sale
About the Author: Darrell Rigley is the owner of Loan Reduction Hero. His company performs forensic loan reviews on potentially fraudulent mortgages in an attempt to help families avoid home foreclosures. For more information on loan reduction , please visit www.LoanReductionHero.com