The biggest purchase of your life is your home. Right now we know that a lot of you are looking to buy and are on the hunt. You’re just excited, bubbling with joy at the potential of purchasing a new home for yourself and your family, and we are excited for you. But also, being the financial educators that we are, we wanted to give you some advice in this process so that at the end of this journey, your house will be a blessing for you and not a burden.
We personally took into consideration each one of these steps while purchasing our home and we highly recommend it to anybody that is in the process of buying a home.
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Choose The Right Agent
You may know real estate agents personally from family members or family friends. You want to make sure that you take that out of consideration. It’s fine to go with the family member or go with your friends if you know they’re highly qualified and they’re a great agent. But one thing you should know is having a great agent does not necessarily mean it will be the right agent for you. Not all agents are comfortable with, nor do they know a lot of information when it comes to the specific location that you’re looking to purchase your home. It’s so important that you make sure that your agent is very well qualified and very knowledgeable in a specific location that you are looking to purchase your home. That is a must.
The next step to a successful home purchase is having patience. This is not something that you can rush into. You’re going to need to see multiple homes and you’re going to have to have some patience. Don’t fall in love with the very first place that you walk into because you have this sense of “If I don’t get it now, somebody else might get it.” That’s true, but maybe that’s just not the house for you because if you go into this with a high emotional state, you’re going to make the wrong purchase. When you’re making a purchase of this magnitude, it’s always better to exercise patience. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to make a rash decision because you might lose the home of your dreams. You need to take the emotion out and you need to let patience settle in so that you can make wise, informed decisions. Make sure that you do not put any type of condemnation or guilt on yourself as if maybe you’re wasting your realtor’s time. Seriously, do not feel rushed because sometimes there’s no time factor. You want to take your time. So take your time and purchase right.
Choose The Right Purchase Amount
Be careful with the purchase amount that you’re shopping with. When you go sit down with a bank and say you’re looking for a home, they’re going to spit out an amount based on all of your credentials but that’s usually not the amount that you should go with. As a matter of fact when they showed the number for us, it was too much and we ended up purchasing our home for much less than what we were “approved” or qualified to buy. Why? Because we took a look at our situation and the bank doesn’t know all of the factors of your monthly situation. They just know your income and some of your expenses. They don’t factor all those things into the amount that they give you. Before you go shopping for a home based on what the bank has quoted you, take a look at your monthly budget. How much could you afford a month to pay for not just your mortgage but you got to consider property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and if you’re shopping, for example, a condo or townhouse, you have to consider association dues in your monthly payment. So you take all those numbers and you come up with a comfortable monthly number and then you project that out to figure out how much home you should actually be shopping for.
Location, Location, Location
It’s all about location. You want to make sure that you dig deep into your location. One way that you can do this is you can look on Facebook. There are a lot of community area groups that you can sign up for that you can request to join. The requirement is that you must live in this particular area, so if you know maybe a family member or friend that lives in this specific area, have them join that group for you on Facebook. If you join that group, you will get to learn a lot about your community. You’ll get to see if there’s any festival on or if there are any positive things going on. You can get a feel of your community by looking at specific groups on Facebook. Also, another way to dive in and look further into your location is to drive around. That was one of the requirements our agent gave us before she showed us any homes – that we must have done a drive-through personally ourselves before she took us in. Sometimes the pictures look so much better, so much prettier online. But when you drive around that particular area, you see maybe there’s a train track behind the home, and that could literally happen. There was a really busy expressway behind our home. So you want to make sure that you drive around your area at night as well as in the daytime. You also want to make sure that you pull crime reports. A lot of this information can be given to you right from the local police station or online.
Look For Potential
The last thing that you want to look into when you’re purchasing your home is the potential of the home. We can speak to this by experience as well. The house that we’re in right now was nothing like it did when we came for the visit. It was hideous because they just didn’t have any type of decorating sense and we were able to see the potential. What do we mean by that? Structurally, the home was beautiful and it was spacious. It had the amount of rooms that we wanted, had the backyard that we wanted. It was in the neighborhood that we wanted. It was just ugly, but all the ugliness was just cosmetic and surface and could be fixed. If you come in, looking for the home of your dreams already in place, you would have missed out on such a beautiful potential. Those are the homes that you’re going to find the best deals because people are walking away from them because they’re ugly and they smell bad. You can paint the house and you can get rid of the smell. You can repaint it to your taste and you can save a lot of money because nobody else is trying to put in the offer for it. For some people, they have to move into a move-in ready home. For most, we will highly suggest that you’re probably going to find some of the best gems for your buck by looking at some of the ugly homes that maybe the owner doesn’t have money to put into their homes. Just be open-minded when it comes to that and don’t let that be a big turnoff for you because the potential is everything.