6 Buying Tips to Consider When Purchasing a New Home
1) Determine how much you can spend
Beware of how much you spend on a home. Spending too much can sacrifice your future and make it impossible to save for retirement, take vacations, and provide for children’s education
*What you can buy depends on:
- How much cash you have for a down payment and closing costs
- How much $ a mortgage lender is willing to provide as a loan
2) Identify where you want to live
Do you want to be close to work, friends, family and good recreation? Narrow down your choices by deciding what neighborhood to live in.
*Characteristics of quality neighborhoods:
- Good school districts (good schools mean high resale values)
- Low to zero crime rates
- Rising property values
3) Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan
Perform this step before shopping for a home.
- Your dream house could be sold while you wait for a mortgage loan approval
- Sellers may refuse your offer because you can’t prove your financial resources
- You may pay steep rates for mortgage loans if you don’t take the time to shop around
4) Select the best home to buy
Start by making a list of the minimum requirements for your dream home. Then visit homes to observe and take notes. Make sure you hire a professional home inspector and work with your agent to find the right house.
- Style, age, construction, interior square feet, property size (acres), bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, extras (patio, pool), air/heat, and sewage/water.
- Convenience to: schools, grocery shopping, stores
5) Negotiate the best price
Evaluate the price with your agent, ask your agent for a comparable market analysis, consider other negotiating points, decide how much to offer and on what terms.
TIP 1. Size up your seller’s reason to move
- Job transfer (has to start at a definite date)
- Death of the owner (heirs grieving/don’t want to nitpick over details)
- Divorce (end joint ownership ASAP)
- Increased income (more generous and eager to move)
TIP 2. Don’t waste your time on sellers who won’t negotiate
- Not serious
- Just wants to find out how much home is worth
TIP 3. Find out if the seller needs a quick sale
- Already signed a contract for a new home
- Already purchased a new home
TIP 4. Talk to the seller
- Has the seller reviewed prices of similar homes in the area?
- Is there a major disagreement about the home’s condition?
TIP 5. Don’t waste your time by offering low ball offers
- An offering price at the low end of the seller’s neighborhood is ok
- Could turn off seller and get them to think your “just fishing”
6. Close the deal and move in
Closing day is usually 30-45 days after the buyer and seller agree on terms and sign a purchase agreement.
- Get a settlement statement at least 1 day before the closing day
- Review every item with your real estate agent
- Demand changes if you and your agent thinks the seller should pay for a charge