Whether a first-time homebuyer, buyer of a second home, trading-up or downsizing these are 12 important things you need to know!
From an article at Inman.com titled ‘12 things every new, retiring and second homebuyer should know‘…
1. Create a plan
Take a look at your lifestyle, finances and activities. What’s most important to you? Do you have kids and want to be near good schools?
Is a 55-and-up golf club resort community appealing? Looking to have a boat in your backyard in the Florida Keys?
Take some time to chart out, create lists and talk extensively with your significant other about why you are entering the real estate market. Then, look five years down the road — what does that look like?
Things will change, obviously, but at least at this moment, you are considering the big picture, and this exercise will go a long way to empower you.
2. Hire a professional
Even if you have bought and sold several homes throughout your lifetime, you will need an experienced real estate agent to guide you through the process, legalese and updated market information.
Talk to your friends and family, and get referrals. Open houses are also a great place to meet prospective agents. Then, conduct interviews with the agents, and see which one is the best fit for you based on your criteria and personality. You are in the driver’s seat, and your agent is there to navigate every step of the way.
3. Don’t forget: real estate is an investment
The process of buying a new home can be very emotional, and it’s easy to get caught up in the shiny new object effect, but in the long run, you must be logical in your purchase.
Make a list of what you want, need and are willing to compromise. Think about resale, local market statistics and sales history. How long will you live there? Is it the nicest house on the block, or are you getting a deal because you are willing to do some remodeling? Remember that this purchase is an investment in your future.
4. Obtain loan approval
Ask your real estate agent who he or she recommend for the loan process. Then take some time and meet with at least three people to make sure you feel confident in the loan programs being offered.
How much down will you need? What is the interest rate? There’s a lot that goes into this piece of the puzzle — so buckle down, and get approved.
This step will help you understand how much home you can truly afford, and it will help clarify your financial standing. Don’t be afraid to consult your financial adviser and certified public accountant as well. They will be able to shed some light on the financial aspects of obtaining a loan.
5. Look at the tax benefits
There are certain write-offs that you are entitled to when you own a home. Real estate property taxes, mortgage interest, discount points and mortgage insurance are all examples of what you migt be able to write-off on a yearly basis.
6. Think location, location, location
This is where the fun begins. What are your favorite neighborhoods, and why do you want to live there? Where do you work, and do you need to be near the office?
What amenities are important to you? Would you like to be near flat walking trails, Starbucks and a dog park? Or is being on a secluded five acres with horses more your style?
If you are moving to a new city where you haven’t lived before, be thorough in your research. It might be perfect weather in November, but what happens in July when it’s 110 degrees?
Also, be sure to find out what new businesses are coming to that area, which ones are leaving and what kind of new construction is planned. Check with the chamber of commerce and the city building department to get a pulse on activity.
Read 7-12 at Inman.com here.
- Who is your underwriter?
- What is the claims experience of your title insurance provider?
- Do you know whether the non-title insurance premium fees you are paying are fair and reasonable?