These 7 tips only scratch the surface for the buying a home process, but they are some of the most important. I have been working in the real estate business for over 15 years and know the Southern California area very well. I have many return clients that I have helped find new homes, rentals and vacation homes. You’re Next!
Tip #1: Don’t Skip the Appraisal When Buying A Home
Buying a house is a lot like buying a car. You wouldn’t buy a car without first looking under the hood! Hiring a 3rd party inspector to look over the place is the best way to insure everything is in tip top shape before the purchase. If issues are found you may have the opportunity to negotiate the price or even have some of the items fixed. Spend a little extra up front instead of a fortune later on.
Tip #2: Bidding Strategy
Bidding can be tricky, but the foundation starts with two basic things; how much can you really afford and how much is the property worth. Gather information in advance about the current market area and the average price per square foot. Start with a reasonable offer and work from there. If you feel inclined you can also write a small letter to the seller explaining why you think the property is the perfect fit for you/your family. This added touch sometimes makes the difference between two bidders with the same offer.
Tip #3: Avoid Big Purchases
Lenders tend to run when you present them with documentation that includes recently opened credit card accounts and large purchases such as a new car. Best practice is to keep your credit card balances below 30% of the limit and hold off on that new car until after the house hunt is over.
Tip #4: Get A Pre-Approved Home Loan
I’m not talking about being pre-qualified. That is different. Pre-Approved means you have already went through the process with a lender to find out how much they will lend you for buying a home. Check with your bank, sometimes they have great deals since you already do business with them. Being pre-approved will curb the disappointment of finding a home outside your price range and then being denied a loan for that home. Research all that you can to make sure you get the best rates and aren’t paying hidden costs.
Tip #5: Make A List of Must Haves and Wishes
To get an idea of your ideal home, make a list of must haves, plus the amenities you wish for. This will help you be more organized in your search and help your realtor to find the homes that are the best fit. You may need a backyard for pets or two car garage for extra storage. Whatever it is, make sure you write it down. Don’t forget to also note your desired area. You don’t want to be running around looking at homes that miss the mark.
Tip #6: Don’t Fret About Crazy Paint, Flooring & Decor
You are going to visit homes that you immediately do not like. It may be from the paint color or shag carpet. Or maybe it is cluttered and decorated differently then you would decorate it. Try and have an open mind. If the overall structure is sound and fits your requirements, don’t sweat the seafoam green paint. Painting is a quick fix. Remove the furniture and decor in your mind and try to imagine and empty room or your furniture in its place. You might miss out on the perfect place for you/your family if you let those things deter you.
Tip #7: Select A Knowledgeable & Experienced Realtor
A seasoned realtor will not waste your time showing you homes outside your price range or homes in areas where you do not want to live. An experienced realtor will research and gather listings together that meet as many requirements as possible that you have. He/she will listen to all your needs and concerns and guide you through the whole process of buying a home. Communication is key!
I’m good at my job! I am passionate about helping you/your family find the perfect home!