Buying a house is an exciting time - especially for first time home buyers, but with so many options available it can also feel a bit overwhelming. So, where do you start? Here are some tips to help you navigate through the home buying process.
1. Know Your Priorities
Make a list of what matters – location, price, your non-negotiables vs. your nice-to-haves – and narrow the search from there to find a house that will fit your needs.
2. Go for a Drive
Get to know the neighborhoods you’re interested in to find out which ones suit you best. See them at different times of the day, get a better idea of who lives there, discover amenities and look to find the home styles that speak to you.
3. Find your Inspiration at your Fingertips
Explore apps on your phone like Zillow, Pinterest and Instagram to discover current home trends and determine what interior and exterior features you find most important.
4. Shop Around
From the virtual to the real world, discover features and finishes in person by visiting local furniture shops and touring model homes. See how the pros make it come to life – ask questions, take photos and have fun seeing what inspires you.
5. Get Pre-Approved
Once you’ve determined your budget, work with a mortgage lender for pre-approval. Not only does this help keep you within your limits, but getting pre-approved may also increase your negotiating power.
6. Choose the Right Agent
Elevate your experience by working with someone you trust. Before selecting your real estate agent, do some homework – read client reviews, ask around and understand what other recognition they might have. Verify they have the right credentials and local knowledge you need.
7. Negotiate Creatively
Pending the market, making an offer can be more than just the asking price. Identify interesting ways to make your offer more competitive such as offering to close quickly or providing a rent-back option for the seller.
8. Hire a Home Inspector
Before closing, you will want to learn of any issues with the home by hiring a home inspector. Findings in the inspector’s report can help you decide if you still want to buy or allow for further negotiations.