Updated: Jan 6
Buying a home is one of the most significant and exciting decisions you will make in your lifetime, and it’s also a big commitment. From determining which agent to work with to what kind of neighborhood you’d like to call home, there are a lot of factors that go into that final decision. Here are five things every homebuyer should know.
Agents Like Me Can Make a Huge Difference
Many people are aware that agents earn a commission on the sales price of a home, which can make buyers reluctant to use an agent because they believe it increases the overall cost. But homebuyers should know that the seller, not the buyer, pays the commission. Having the right agent can help you negotiate a fair price and navigate every step of the sales process. Think you’re in the market to buy? Give me a call!
Keep the Future in Mind
Purchasing a home is a big financial investment, so you want to make sure this home will still be perfect for you in the future. Before you purchase a home, consider your long-term plans. Are you planning to start a family or expand your family? You may need more space if so. Do you have time for maintenance? If not, maybe a condo would suit you better. These are all things your agent can help you work through.
Don’t Get Stuck on Paint
When looking at potential homes, make sure you aren’t putting a huge emphasis on minor cosmetics. Paint colors, for example, can be changed easily and for a minimal cost. Take a closer look at kitchens and baths as those are the most expensive rooms to update and change. Make sure you are factoring in costs of repairs including labor when determining whether or not to buy a home, but don’t let paint colors deter you from making an offer.
Understand Your Loans
A loan rate might seem tempting in a TV commercial, but once you sit down with a banker, you’ll learn that the devil is in the details. Points, PMI (private mortgage insurance) and closing costs can drive your mortgage cost up. And while some programs allow buyers to have a smaller down payment, make sure you understand how long you are required to stay in the home without penalty. Before getting a mortgage, always be sure to read all the clauses and fine print. And don't be afraid to shop around for the best rate.
Stay on Budget
What your mortgage company believes you can afford may be different from what you believe you can afford. Many lenders suggest mortgage payments that total around 1/3 of your gross income, but some suggest closer to 28 percent for housing related costs like mortgage, insurance and taxes. Your mortgage broker can help you understand what factors should go into determining your budget.
There is so much that goes into buying a home, which is why it is crucial to have as much information as possible on the process. Making sure that you are staying on budget and that you are working with the right realtor are two of the top priorities you should have if you are looking to purchase a home. This is one of the most exciting and stressful processes and we hope this guide will help you make the next step to purchasing your home!