Steps to Take When You’re Ready to Buy a Home

Want to transform your homeownership dream into a reality? Understanding what it takes to enter the real estate market successfully is paramount for homebuyers. With the necessary preparation, you should have no trouble purchasing your dream residence.

Ultimately, there are several steps that a homebuyer should take before he or she conducts a home search, including:

1. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research

The housing market fluctuates regularly, and a buyer’s market can change into a seller’s market quickly. As such, you’ll want to conduct sufficient real estate market research before you start your home search so you can streamline the process of finding the perfect house.

Consider where you want to live and whether you’d like to reside close to family members and friends. Also, consider how much space you’ll need from a new home, along with whether you’d like to live near schools, playgrounds and other local hot spots.

Don’t forget to check out the prices of a wide range of homes, either. By doing so, you may be able to determine the price range for houses that match your needs.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

With pre-approval for a mortgage, you’ll know exactly what you can afford as soon as you’re ready to buy a house.

Banks and credit unions frequently offer a vast array of home financing options, making it simple for you to choose a mortgage that fits your budget. Fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are among the most popular choices for homebuyers nationwide. Meanwhile, you may be eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans as well.

Reach out to multiple banks and credit unions to pursue all of the home financing options at your disposal. This will enable you to find the best mortgage based on your individual needs and enter the housing market with financing in hand to secure your dream home.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

There is no reason to enter the housing market alone. Lucky for you, experienced real estate agents are happy to help you find the perfect house.

An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market and will share his or her real estate expertise with you. This professional will educate you about the real estate market and ensure that you know what to look for when you attend an open house.

Also, an experienced real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey. From the moment you spot your dream home to the day you finalize a purchase agreement, your real estate agent will offer the support that you need to go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent will help alleviate your homebuying concerns. And if you ever have homebuying questions, your real estate agent will provide responses at any time.

Don’t settle for a subpar home – follow the aforementioned steps, and you can move closer to discovering your ideal residence.

Factors That Go Into Buying a Home

Before you decide to buy a house, it is crucial that you consider various factors beforehand. Some of these factors can be as straightforward as making sure to choose a home in a good area, and making certain that the property is also in good condition. However, it is also important to consider the housing market, because it is imperative that you buy a house at the right time. For example, if you are in a market where there is a huge demand for homes for sale, then the prices of houses will generally be high, and so if you are buying a house for investment purposes, this wouldn’t be the right time for you to make that purchase. With the market starting to creep back up buyers will be looking to get a good deal before demand goes back up so selling a home right now can bring great results.

On the other hand, if there is less demand for buying houses, then the price of property will generally be very low, thus making it the perfect time to buy. Right now is a fantastic time to buy a home with the slower market interest rates at the lowest in years. Buying a home in a down market can become a great investment down the road. You can consider it like a savings account. Buy the property in a down market, and watch your money grow.

Is The Corner Lot Right For You?

The corner lot is a prized piece of real estate. Is living on the corner really all that it is said to be? The truth is that there are both pros and cons to buying the corner lot. Breaking down the pros and cons of the corner lot can help you to make an informed decision on your home purchase.

The Upside

There’s so many advantages to living on the corner lot. Living on the corner lot feels like you’re living on more space. Corner lots also enable you to have a garage on the side of the home, because you have roads on both the front and the side of the home. Wrap-around porches are a reality on corner lots due to their design. The ultimate privacy is also available on the corner lot, since you only have one neighbor on one side of the house. These are definitely pros for people who are looking for privacy. This gives your family flexibility to use both the front and the side yard with ease. There’s so many things you can do with the extra space on the larger side yard like put up a basketball hoop, plant a garden, or set up a volleyball game. The possibilities are endless.

The Downside

There are some downsides to living on the corner lot. First, there’s a lot more to landscape. With more yard, this only stands to reason. You want your yard to look even and flow beautifully with the way it’s landscaped, so there’s a bit more work to be done in this area. This landscaping work includes trimming, mowing, irrigating and maintaining. Your garage or driveway will also be affected by owning the corner lot. Since it may be set back more from the street, entering and exiting your driveway will be challenging in some cases. You also need to be mindful that your car isn’t edged out into the sidewalk or the road when it is parked. Another downside to the corner lot is that it’s often more expensive since it’s usually a more versatile piece of land.

While privacy is a plus on the corner lot when it comes to neighbors, privacy could be a negative for these homes depending on the location. Noise and privacy concerns are a must consider when it comes to homes in certain locations because the amount of traffic (whether by vehicle or by foot) can cause some disturbances to you and your family. To remedy this problem, you may consider installing fencing or other landscape buffers. These privacy concerns may not be as much of an issue depending upon the design of the home. If you consider where the entrances to the home are as well as the location of the garage, the house could be perfect for your needs.

No matter where you choose to live, pay special attention to the lot surrounding the home before you decide to buy. It’s important to choose to live in a place where you’ll feel comfortable and happy.

What to Look For During a Home Showing

A home showing represents a great opportunity for prospective homebuyers, as it enables homebuyers to get an up-close look at a residence and determine whether to make an offer on it.

As such, it is important to prep for a home showing; otherwise, a homebuyer could miss out on a golden opportunity to find the right residence at the right time.

So what should you look for during a home showing? Here are three factors that every homebuyer needs to consider:

1. A Home’s Exterior

Although the home you’re visiting caught your eye as you drove past it in your car, you may notice problems when you take a closer look at the residence’s exterior.

For instance, cracks or chips in the driveway or along the front steps may need to be repaired and may impact the amount that you offer for a residence – or whether you decide to submit an offer at all.

Of course, no home showing would be complete without checking out the condition of the house’s siding and roof, either.

If you’re uncertain about the condition of these areas, be sure to ask the home seller’s real estate agent for more information. By doing so, you can make a more informed decision about whether a particular residence is right for you.

2. A Home’s Heating and Cooling System

Ideally, you’ll want a house that stays warm in winter and cool in summer. But in many cases, an old heating or cooling system may prevent a homeowner from maintaining comfortable temperatures inside a house at all times.

Ask about the age of a heating and cooling system during a home showing. This will allow you to find out if this system will need to be replaced or repaired in the immediate future.

Find out about the efficiency rating of a house’s heating and cooling system as well. Remember, the higher a heating or cooling system’s efficiency rating, the more this unit will be able to save a homeowner on his or her monthly energy costs. And if you find a home that boasts a high-efficiency heating and cooling system, you may be able to save money on your energy bills down the line.

3. A Home’s Doors and Windows

Do a home’s doors and windows open freely? If not, they may be in need of serious repair, which ultimately could put a major dent in your wallet if you decide to purchase a particular residence.

The costs to repair or replace defective doors and windows can add up quickly. Thus, you’ll want to ensure that all of a house’s doors and windows are in great condition before you purchase a residence, and you can learn more about their condition during a home showing.

When it comes to finding the right house, you’ll always want to consult with a reliable real estate agent, too. Your real estate agent is readily available to assist you in any way possible, and he or she will be able to help you discover a top-notch house that meets all of your needs.

Spend some time getting ready for home showings, and you’ll be prepared to find an excellent home that you can enjoy for years to come.