Preparation is Key
Knowing how much you can afford is important information when deciding to purchase a home. There is nothing worse than getting your heart set on a home only to find out you can’t qualify for the mortgage. By talking to your financial institution or a mortgage broker ahead of time, you determine a realistic price range that you should be looking in. We can provide you with a list of qualified mortgage brokers if need be.
Make a “Wish List”
We as realtors appreciate knowing exactly what you are looking for in a home and will be in a better position to find a good match when we do. Be sure you make clear what items are non-negotiable (the “must-haves”) and what items are optional (the “would-like-to-haves”). Our goal as your realtors is to assist you in finding a home that best suits you, not to pressure you in a particular direction.
We can explain to you the potential costs involved in buying a home that are over and above the initial down payment and purchase price. Things like the cost of a home inspection, appraisal if necessary, mortgage insurance fees if applicable, legal fees and property tax adjustments.
For first time home buyers we are more than happy to walk through the process of buying your home before we make an actual offer. Familiarizing you ahead of time with the various forms and procedures involved make the process less threatening when the time comes to write the offer. The more comfortable you are with the process, the more you can concentrate on the task at hand. Remember, we will be there to guide you and answer your questions. We promise not to have you sign anything you don’t fully understand.
Balance is the Key
There is no doubt that buying a home is an emotional experience. That being said, we want to caution you as a buyer to bring a measure of objectivity into the mix. It is a good idea to have your “top-dollar” amount fixed in your mind ahead of time. While there is a lot of fun and excitement involved in the home buying process, it is also a very serious and substantial investment you are making. We want you to make a wise decision without taking away the joy of the experience.
Existing market conditions can determine how you approach making a purchase. If the market is quite balanced (a fairly even number of buyers and sellers) or a buyer’s market (more listings than buyers) then you can take more time with your decision, perhaps take a second look at the property or sleep on it before making a decision. In a seller’s market (buyers outweigh the number of listings) you may not have the luxury of time when making decisions. Often times you are competing directly with other buyers for a particular home. This is when it is especially important to have done your homework and be prepared and ready to act. That being said, we aren’t advocating rash decisions; just know what you want.
Once an offer is made and accepted, we don’t leave you high and dry. We help you in any way we can to meet and remove any conditions of the offer, we make sure copies of contracts go to the appropriate financial institution and law offices, we provide you with a list of utilities contact information, we coordinate a time to do a thorough walk-through of the property on possession day, and follow up on any problems or issues that may arise. We encourage you to contact us with any questions that you may have during the process. Communication is very important.
Even after you take possession of your new home, we do like to keep in touch to make sure things are going as they should. It is completely normal to have some things not exactly as you expected and we certainly encourage you to call us if any problems arise. On a more positive note, there are also things that may exceed your expectations. You can call us about those too. If we are able to correct a problem we will be happy to do so and if not we can point you in the right direction. Please expect a visit from us when you are settled.