Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Buying Your First Home Part 3
At RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty, we are in the business of making dreams come true, and for a lot of people, making a dream come true involves buying your first home. In order to help you with that decision, we’ve come up with a series of articles…useful tips that will help you be prepared when buying your first home. Check back here often for the next article in the series, and be sure to subscribe to our blog at the bottom of the page.
Tip Three: First Time Home Buyers Must Do’s
1. Do Your Homework
The perfect home won't find you by itself. The key step in buying a home is doing the proper research. Educate yourself on local schools, neighborhoods, and the kinds of homes available. By reading available materials and talking with experts, you can start to put together your idea of the perfect home. Visit our website at www.lakesrealty.com for a lot of this valuable information.
2. Start Planning
Most decisions benefit greatly from proper planning, and home buying is certainly no exception. Start a filing system with sections such as home buying, home financing, and service providers. By forming a home buying plan you can more easily focus on the most important factors and help give structure to the entire process. Our website is a great resource for property information.
3. Get Pre-Qualified
Getting prequalified for a loan normally only requires a short phone conversation with a lender, and can greatly help your home search. Prequalification does not guarantee you a loan, but it does provide you with an estimated monthly payment and a price range to use as a guide when shopping for homes. Being prequalified can also often indicate to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer.
4. Look for Value
When shopping for homes, it's important to consider potential value. Even if you're not planning to sell the home some time down the line, it's a good idea to consider the future value of the home. Protect yourself against things like falling prices and gradual shifts in the nature of the neighborhood. You may not think of a new home as a means to make money, but it's an important investment that requires caution.
5. Decide What You're Looking For
Settle on the home features that are important to you (paved driveway, hardwood floors, architectural style, etc.) and make an ordered list. Having well established guidelines will help narrow down your search and will prevent you from being shown properties that lack your key amenities. It can help you make the decision not to buy an attractive property that doesn't really fit your needs. Our website has a search feature that allows you to filter thousands of listings based on attributes that you select. If you know you want a wood sided home with gas heat and a garage, you can get the results you're looking for.
You don't have to make an offer on the first home you see. Make sure to look at other listings in the area to get a feel for the marketplace. When you decide to make an offer on a house, consult with your real estate professional so that all of your questions are answered.
7. Shop Around for Your Mortgage
Deciding on the financing for your home can be as important as choosing a home itself. The first step is deciding what kind of loan best fits you: a fixed rate mortgage, or an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). There are benefits to each form of loan, and your real estate professional can provide you with more information. Next you'll want to begin to shop around for different lenders.
8. Protect Yourself
Be careful when signing a contract on a home that allows you to find financing, have the home inspected, and work through any problem areas that may arise. Paying for a quality home inspection is absolutely crucial! You can save yourself thousands in repair costs by being sure of what you're getting into.
More information for first time buyers can be found on our website at www.lakesrealty.com, or by giving us a call at 218-963-9554. We’re confident that we can provide the kind of exceptional service that will make this process an exciting one. Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
Posted by Brad Wallace at 8:00 AM