You have been talking to your spouse about buying a house for a while, and you have finally the decision to buy one this year. This is a big decision because a house is a big investment. It is probably the most expensive single asset that you will own. That means you should do all that you can to make sure that you are making smart decisions every step of the way. This article will provide you with some guidelines on how you can approach it.
Check Out the Area
You probably have some ideas as to which area you would like to live in. Do some research on the neighborhoods that you are interested in. Drive around and get a feel of it. If you have children, check out the schools that are in the area. The important thing is that you get a good feel of it before you go any further.
Look for a real estate broker who has experience with homes in the neighborhood that you are interested in. He/She has a wealth of information that you can benefit from. He/She has statistics of the average home prices, crime rates, transportation issues, etc. Ask him/her to provide you with a profile of these neighborhoods. This is one way to ensure you that the neighborhood fits what your expectations are.
It is a good idea to get pre-approved for a home loan. You should find out how much house you can afford before you set your eyes on that beautiful house up on the hill. Getting pre-approved also gives you an advantage when you are making an offer. A seller prefers to know that the buyer can afford the house before he agrees to sell it to the buyer. No one wants any surprises after an offer is made and accepted. If you wait until the seller accepts your offer before you talk to a lender, you may get the unfortunate response that you do not qualify for the loan, and that will break the deal.
When you are looking at homes that are on the market, take a notebook with you and a video camera. If the seller allows it, take a video or pictures of the interior of the properties that you tour and write down notes. You will be seeing many properties. If you do not take notes, you may get the information of one house mixed up with another. Make notes on anything you see that could be a concern, like repairs that may need to be made. These are things that will be factored in as you make a purchase decision.
When you are ready to make an offer, make a realistic offer, but try not to lowball the seller. If you do, they may think that you are not a serious buyer and may just refuse to work with you.
Buying a house is a big decision for you and your family. Do not rush into it, use good judgment, and you will find the perfect house.