Buying a home can be as exciting as it is overwhelming. The biggest mistake buyers can make it to let their excitement take over and forget what’s important. Here are some important tips….
Most Importantly - Get Pre-Approved!
This is the number-one mistake that people make. Don’t start looking until you have been approved not only so that you know how much you can spend, but it’s a benefit when you’re putting in an offer, especially in a multiple offer situation.
Shop around for a mortgage, don’t just assume that the bank you have been using for the last ten years will give you the best deal. Lastly be aware of the terms and conditions on the mortgage. Don’t get so excited at the new low rate that you don’t read the fine print.
Have the talk…
It’s amazing how often couples aren’t on the same page where buying a new home is concerned. One wants to be closer to the highway, one wants to be more in the country. At times one just goes along with the whole process without really saying what they want, but then they can’t agree on a house and we don’t know why. This is a big waste of time for everyone. Buying a home is a big investment and its best to be honest about your wants from the beginning.
Make the needs and wants lists. You need 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a double car garage. You want a fireplace and an island in the kitchen. Sometimes people get caught up in the excitement and overlook necessary features, make your list, make sure your realtor has that list and only view homes that fit your needed criteria. Don’t rush into looking before preparing and considering what you’re looking for.
Be prepared to make a decision
Sometimes people will see a home they love but they don’t make an offer because it’s the first one they’ve looked at. There is no reason to think that just because it was the first, that it’s not the right one. For some people they just know when they are in the house that it’s the one, others need to do the pro’s and con’s list and reason it out, either way be ready to make a decision.
Don’t get sucked in by the Extras
No home is going to be 100% perfect, there will always be compromise, but being indecisive can make you lose a house you really like.
Focus on the floor plan, look for efficiency, does it suit your lifestyle? These are the things that are important, they don’t change. Don’t get sucked in by the granite countertops, the pretty light fixtures and the stainless-steel appliances. Decorating, lighting and updating can be changed by you and most assuredly will be over the years regardless of how it looks when you buy the home. But the floor plan will still be there.
Negotiating isn’t about winning; it’s about compromise
I have seen deal come down to the buyer and seller being $2000 apart in price and seen people dig in their heels stating that they have to win. Or a few days apart in completion date with no one willing to budge. No one wins in these scenarios. When you get this close don’t let it be a deal breaker, because at the end of the day it just doesn’t matter enough to lose the home you want over your need to win.
The perfect time, is when you’re ready
There are many factors that affect the market; interest rates, global influence, so on... I can tell you what the market is like right now and possibly even what we expect it to be like in the next couple of months. But if there is a world financial crisis or a tsunami hits, a major employer in your area shuts its doors, well then anything can happen. Trying to find some secret timing for the market isn’t possible, if it was I’d be a millionaire.
What it really comes down to is… are you ready? Are you really committed to buying right now or just curious about what’s happening? When your finances and your feelings about moving come together, then you’re ready.