The Do’s and Don’ts of House Hunting
The Do’s and Don’ts of House Hunting
We understand how stressful it is to buy a home so we compiled a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” to help ease your mind throughout the process.
Do: Plan Smart, Plan Ahead. Have a plan and create an outline that includes: determining whether or not buying a home is a smart idea for you, getting pre-approved for your loan, and brushing up on the basics of the real estate market.
Do: Learn Your Credit Score. Before you embark on the house-hunting process, be sure to review your credit score and history. Remember, the higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate on a mortgage. Know that having errors on your credit report will likely work against you by bringing your score down. You want to give yourself ample time to report and correct these errors. Learning your credit score and history in advance gives you ample time to bring it back up if it is lower than expected so you can get the mortgage you want.
Do: Your Research. During the home buying process, you want to look at the house AND the neighborhood. Location is an incredibly important factor to take into consideration. You want to choose the right neighborhood and community for you and/or your family’s needs. Pinpoint which neighborhoods you like, create a list of things you want in your home, do your research and view homes in those areas that best fit your description.
Do: Invest in a Professional Inspection. While a home may appear to be in pristine condition on the outside, on the inside, it could be crumbling. Unfortunately, sellers don’t always uncover the whole truth to their potential buyers. Professional home inspectors will look beyond the seemingly perfect exterior and reveal the costly, underlying problems. Investing in an experienced professional will save you time and money. Additionally, you can use the information from the inspector to negotiate with the sellers or decide to step away from a deal if you’ve learned that the repairs are just too substantial.
Don’t Buy A House Solely For Its Décor. We know how easy it is to fall in love with the décor of a home during a showing. It’s important to look beyond the first impression and ask if the home itself will accommodate your furnishings and lifestyle once the set-up disappears along with its current owners. Focus instead on the floor plan and square footage. Remember, you can always change the décor later. Keep yours and your family’s needs in mind and ask yourself if this home will be perfect for all of you.
Don’t: Do It Yourself. When learning a new skill, it is always helpful to have a professional by your side to teach and guide you. The same is applicable when buying a house. An experienced buyer’s agent can successfully help you navigate throughout the market and will direct you towards houses that meet both your needs and your budget. A good buyer’s agent is in your corner working with you and has your best interests at heart. Ask your friends and relatives for referrals so you end up working with someone who’s trustworthy.
Don’t: Let Your Emotions Get Out of Control. It’s natural for people to get emotional throughout the buying and selling process and as a result, deals are often lost due to heightened emotions. While your heart should be invested in a home, don’t sweat the small stuff. Try to remain as focused as possible on the numbers and don’t allow yourself to “get caught up in the moment” and make rash decisions that you’ll only end up regretting later.
Don’t: Trust Everything You Read In A Real Estate Ad. Don’t allow yourself to fall for every word in a real estate ad. Like any other form of advertisement, real estate classifieds are created to spark your interest and make you want to view a home. Be a smart buyer and ignore cleverly worded ads used to draw you in.