Wednesday 12 June 2013

Tips for First Time Real Estate Buyers

Entering real estate is a daunting task with pushy estate agents, volatile markets, and deciding whether the property meets your needs. Like with anything, it gets easier with experience. If you’re new to the housing market, check out these tips. They teach you about everything from viewing houses to getting your financial affairs in order.

Tips for First Time Real Estate Buyers

Deciding on a Budget

Decide on a budget to get started. It’s amazing just how many first-time buyers don’t decide how much they have to spend. If you don’t have a budget, you’re setting yourself up for potentially spending more than you have to spare. Overspending can prevent you from making the renovation changes you want to your new home.

Start by writing down everything you own. This includes the savings in the account and the value of your current home; get it valued if you don’t know what you’re likely to get. Now determine exactly what you have to spend. Most people use the value of their home plus a small amount of cash.

When you’ve decided on a budget you’ll use for buying, whilst setting aside anything spare you need to decorate, make a limit. Your total budget is the maximum you’ll go to. Ideally, you want to settle just lower than this.

Stick to it no matter what. This is why you always aim for a price slightly lower than your maximum. Only go up if you’re confronting a once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity.

What do you Need?

What do you want to have in your home?

Everyone has something they have to have in a new property. For some, it’s a fully renovated kitchen. Others prefer to have a large expansive green area for the kids to play around in. Whatever you want, make these things a priority.

When buying, avoid sticking rigidly to these conditions. It’s simple to turn down perfectly good properties because it doesn’t have EXACTLY what you want. Always consider compromise. If it has a garage instead of a larger exterior, look at it as an extra advantage. Things like renovation and decorating you can get later with your own money.

It’s far better to get a good all-around home than a home centered around one aspect.

Pre-Approved Mortgages

You don’t want to find the house of your dreams only to discover the banks won’t play ball on the mortgage front. See if you can get a mortgage by getting pre-approved. Pre-approved mortgages last for up to 90 days whilst you go house hunting. If you find a house you like, the mortgage is already in the bag.

Look around for a lender with attractive rates and a history of taking care of its customers. To start the process, lenders usually charge a small amount. You should have information about your credit history, income, and any liabilities to hand to keep the process moving.

It should only take a few weeks to get a decision on your pre-approved mortgage.

Call the Inspector!

Use a home inspector to investigate the homes you’ve shortlisted. Sneaky homeowners might try to hide a leaky pipe or evidence of a previous pest infestation. The small tell-tale signs left by this last-minute DIY might not become apparent to you, but a home inspector can spot them instantly.

Pick an inspector by asking friends and work colleagues for references. If they’ve moved house fairly recently, they can point you in the right direction.

Whilst it’s yet another investment, finding a fault before signing an agreement can save you a lot of money in the long term.

The True Costs of Ownership

The mortgage and moving truck aren’t the only costs you have to take into account. After closing the sale, you’ll have to put up with a lot of taxes, fees, and costs. These include insurance fees, maintenance bills, and taxes. Take into account the costs associated with home ownership in your specific part of the world before committing to anything.

Look at the Neighbourhood

Take a visit to the neighborhood you intend on buying in. And don’t just travel with the representative showing you the house. Make the commute from your place of work to the neighborhood during rush hour. Travel from each of your favorite shops and see how long it takes.

Drive by at unseasonable hours. Are there gangs of kids hanging around public places? What about lazy parents parking all along the street for the daily school run?

All of these things are important things to take into account when buying a house for the first time.

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