Getting a house, whether through a real estate agent or directly from previous house owners is a huge responsibility, and one that you must plan out thoroughly. You will be spending a significant amount of money on it and you and your family will be living in it for several years, if not your entire life.
There are many things that you must consider when buying a house and today. These are some of the things that you must take note of before going through a home purchase.
Choose your Realtor Wisely
It’s no secret that realtors get a commission from their sales. You should always ask the right questions, and see if your realtor knows what they are talking about. See if you can trust them with protecting your interests, and be aware of their interests. If the price that they are quoting you is quite questionable, then you might want to consider finding one that would not lie to you and instead help you with the whole process.
Check the Property
Check it thoroughly, as some cracks can be well-hidden just for the sake of selling the house. Check for signs of mold, the water pressure, the sink, drainage, kitchen, HVAC, and even the toilet flush. You can always hire a professional to do the checking for you, but it would also be beneficial for you to check everything yourself first.
Buying a property means having to sign lots and lots of papers. Contacts are meant to be followed, as it is a legal bond between the buyer and the seller. However, even with a contract, it is possible to negotiate. You should always check what is written on the contract though, then proceed to negotiate. Everything does not have to be standard and yes, you can use your bargaining powers before signing that contract!
Don’t Let the House Charm you into Buying it
Sometimes a single room can look so charming that you immediately want to purchase it right then and there. This should definitely not be the case. Look at the bigger picture and see what needs to be repaired – the bathroom, cabinets, appliances, and so on. Sure, repainting is easy and fun to do, but are you ready to buy a house that you will be spending a huge amount of money on for renovations?
Know How Long You Plan to Stay
So you have got a job near your potential house, but are you sure you will be working there forever? Avoid buying an extremely expensive house that you know you would not be living in for a long time. If you think you would want or need to relocate after a few years, then you might want to consider buying a house that is within your budget and something that’s not so lavish and expensive. If you can afford it though, then by all means, go for it!
Since we are on that note, let us talk about pricing and affordability. Never buy a house that you cannot afford, as this can be a huge problem in the future. Sure you can count on mortgage and lending companies, but will you be able to pay the monthly fees? Think about the long-term situation: would you be able to afford this house even after a few years? What would be your back up plan in case you cannot afford it anymore? Is it worth it? These are just some of the questions that you should always ask yourself when buying a property.
Do Not Be Blinded by the Price
So you have found a house that is affordable and you think “what’s the catch?”. Good on you for thinking this way, as there is (oftentimes) a catch with cheap properties. Yes, it might appear perfect on the outside, but what about the inside? Repairing and renovating can cost a fortune – it might even be more expensive than the property itself!
Other things that you have to take note of are the cost of insurance, real estate taxes, homeowner association fees, and other things that you probably have not thought of. Even maintaining your house can cost a lot, so you have to factor that in, too. Calculate everything and ask your realtor about this.
Your Credit Score
Your credit score and report is your ultimate gateway to getting approved for a mortgage. Sellers, agencies, and lenders review your credit score and report thoroughly before even deciding if you are mortgage-worthy or not.
Check your credit report before applying for a mortgage. There are tons of websites online that you can visit to check your credit score and report, and most of those are free and easy. If you find out that your credit score is low, then you might want to work on it first before deciding on applying for a mortgage. There are many ways to improve your credit score: pay your existing debts, make sure that you will not miss your deadline when it comes to paying your dues, and never borrow more than you can pay.
Sharing the Fees
Sure, you can share the fees and the bills with a loved one or a family member, but do they have a stable income? Would they be willing to pay the monthly dues? Do they have a good credit standing?
Make sure that the one you are splitting the bill with is someone you trust because if not, then this can be a scary situation for the both of you.
The location of the house is very important. Do you have access to the nearest hospital? Is there a grocery store that you can run to whenever you are running short on supplies? Is it near your office or your kids’ schools? Know what your needs are and start from there.
Buying a house can be a scary process, but if you do it right, then there is no need to be afraid. Good luck and happy house hunting!