Homebuying is rarely ever described as simple and straight forward process. The pandemic has not made this process any easier, but following these seven, simple recommendations from previous homebuyers will help ease some future frustration.
1) Find a Loan Officer that has your best interest at heart
A superior Loan Officer will assist you in figuring out how much home you can afford and then fit you to the most beneficial loan product. Don’t get caught just looking at the flashy gimmicks. A quality Loan Officer will be worth their weight in gold and save you a ton of frustration. A good place to start is to talk with friends, family, and coworkers about any recommendations they may have and then make sure they are a good fit for you. Then give them a call and setup an appointment, check out their online presence with both social media profiles, and their recent reviews to see what others in your community have experienced.
2) Find a Real Estate Agent that puts YOU as a priority
One of the top recommendations when it comes to finding real estate is to not rely on Zillow listings. An agent will get you on an MLS search based on your needs and provide you with the most recent listings. Like finding the right loan officer you will want to find a real estate agent that fits your personality, has great negotiating skills, and has your best interest at heart.
3) Know what to settle and not settle on
Make a list that consist of things you are not willing to settle on and be clear to communicate these with your realtor. Popular items that buyers are not willing to negotiate on are school districts, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, cell phone and internet reception, amount of land and space between neighbors, etc. Once you have gotten your search paired down to the houses with your must-haves, then you can view the homes that have all your needs plus additional items that you would like to have. Knowing what to settle on will allow you to enjoy your home well after the honeymoon phase ends.
4) Know your location and what the home will be like all year round
It is always great to see a property in the beginning of summer when everything is dry, and the flowers are in full bloom. Consider the upkeep in all seasons: What will the property look like when it storms? Does the area get flooded? Is there a lot of water and swamp nearby? Will the mosquitos be unbearable? What about winter--will the driveway be hard to plow and leave you stuck? Is the property full of trees that will either need to be taken down or leave you with a mess of leaves every fall?
5) Know the red flags to look for when doing a walkthrough
You should always know what the major red flags are when looking at a property, especially, if you have decided to waive the home inspection. Some major causes for concern are smell of fresh paint or strong air freshener, foundation cracks, standing water, mold, water stains, leaking water, and uneven floors. There is no issue too small to bring up, so make sure you ask questions and bring up potential issues during your walk through. This will free you up with any concerns you may have before closing on your new home.
6) Don’t get caught in buying over the fear of missing out
The pandemic has caused a housing scramble. Be firm in your budget and your non-negotiables. The pressure of this market has caused a lot of buyers to lose sight in finding a house that will make them happy. Buyers end up spending more than they can afford, and compromise on features that are important to them.
7) Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Professionals in the industry know all the ins and outs and are there as a resource. You are making one of the biggest purchases in your life, never be worried to ask a question because your peace of mind is the number one concern.
The bottom line is buying a home is a complex but having the right team by your side will make the homebuying experience a lot more enjoyable and save you time and money!