Every year, there are more than 5 million Americans who purchase a new home.
If you’re one of the people interested in buying a new home sometime soon, it’s important for you to do whatever you can to purchase the best house possible. The last thing you want to do is make a big investment in a home only to find that it doesn’t work for you later.
There are some things you should keep in mind when looking around at homes you might want to buy. They’ll help guide the way and allow you to score a great deal when buying a new house.
Here are the 15 best-kept secrets to buying the best house.
1. Avoid Making Any Big Purchases in the Months Leading Up to Buying a Home
When you’re thinking about buying a new home, it’s a good idea to scale back on your spending in the other areas of your life.
In order to purchase a home, you’ll likely need to obtain a mortgage from a lender. And a lender isn’t going to be happy if they see that you’ve been throwing money around in the months leading up to your new home purchase.
If you show that you’ve been responsible with your money over the last year or so, you’ll increase your chances of scoring a home loan. So try not to make any outlandish purchases if a new home is on the horizon for you.
2. Attempt to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before Starting a Home Search
When you start searching for a new home, it’s helpful to know how much a lender would be willing to give you to spend.
Therefore, you should strongly consider obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage prior to starting a home search. When you’re armed with a pre-approval, it’ll tell you exactly how much you’ll have to spend on a home. It’ll also show sellers you’re serious about buying a house.
3. Set a Budget for Yourself and Stick to It
While a lender might pre-approve you for a certain amount of money, that doesn’t mean you have to spend that amount when you buy a home.
Before you start shopping for houses, come up with a budget that will work based on your finances. Far too often, people buy homes that they can’t actually afford simply because a lender agrees to give them the money to do it.
Crunch the numbers and come up with a budget that’ll allow you to live comfortably as opposed to being “house poor.”
4. Don’t Forget to Consider the Hidden Costs Associated With Buying a Home
Once you move into a home, you’re going to be responsible for paying more than just the mortgage.
You’re also going to need to set aside money for:
- Property taxes
- Homeowner association dues
- Private mortgage insurance (if you put less than 20 percent down on a home as a down payment)
- Home maintenance and repairs
If you fail to work these costs into your overall budget, you’re making a big mistake. You’ll run the risk of not being able to actually afford a home once you move into it.
5. Make a List of the Things You Want Out of a Home Prior to Looking for One
Do you want a house with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a two-car garage, and a pool in the backyard?
Write down everything you want out of a new home so that you can narrow down your home search quickly.
You might be surprised by how many people start shopping for homes without taking this step. It ends up taking them a long time to find what they want since they cast such a large net when searching for homes.
6. Work With an Excellent Real Estate Agent Throughout the Home Buying Process
You can try to conduct a home search on your own if you want. But you’re likely going to be overwhelmed by the process since there are so many homes on the market today.
With assistance from a real estate agent from REMAX, you’ll be able to find a home that fits within your price range and that has everything you want out of a house.
A realtor can help you put together a list of homes that you might be interested in and then walk through them with you. It’ll go a long way towards helping you track down the best house for your situation.
7. Try Not to Worry Too Much About If It’s the “Best Time” to Buy a Home
There are some people who choose to buy a house or not buy a house based on the strength of the real estate market.
While you should educate yourself about the real estate market a little bit, you shouldn’t necessarily put off buying a home simply because it’s a “seller’s market.” For all you know, the price of homes could continue to climb well into the foreseeable future, which could limit what you can buy.
Don’t put off buying a home until it’s the “best time” for it. It’s impossible to predict what the future might hold when it comes to buying and selling homes.
8. Keep “Location, Location, Location” in Mind at All Times When Shopping for Homes
“Location, location, location!” is a phrase you’ll hear tossed around a lot within the real estate market.
It means, quite simply, that buyers need to carefully consider the location of a property before buying it.
You can find the most amazing home for the most amazing price. But if it’s located in a neighborhood that’s on the decline, buying it could prove to be disastrous.
Make sure you love the location of a home and all it has to offer as much as you love a home itself.
9. Remember That Bigger Isn’t Always Better
If you have a really big family and need all the space that a big home has to offer, then a big house might be the best house for you.
But buying a bigger house isn’t always the best idea if you don’t need the space. It’ll obviously cost a lot more than a slightly smaller home and will force you to do more maintenance and repairs overall.
10. Resist the Urge to Fall in Love With a Home the Moment You See It
Home buyers tend to make really bad financial decisions when they fall in love with a home right from the start.
People overpay for homes, accept mortgage loans with less-than-favorable terms, and even overlook major repairs that need to be made within homes when they fall for a house too quickly.
If you see something you really like, that’s great! But don’t get caught up in your emotions and make a poor decision simply because you hate the thought of missing out on a home.
11. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate With Sellers on the Price of a Home
One of the reasons it’s a good idea to work with a real estate agent when buying a home is because a realtor will help you negotiate the price of it.
And you should negotiate the price of a home and get the best deal possible.
While you don’t want to offend a home seller by lowballing them too much, you could miss out on getting a great deal on a house by not negotiating for it.
Unless there are multiple bidders on a home, it’s always good to start low when bidding on a house and then work your way up until you come to an agreement with a seller.
12. Always Ask for a Home Inspection Before Closing on a Home
Buying a house without having a home inspection done on it is a big no-no.
During a home inspection, a home inspector will inspect the roof on a home, its foundation, and everything in between. They’ll let you know if there are any major issues you need to address before taking ownership of a house.
13. Have a Property Survey Done on a Home as Well
In addition to having a home inspection done on a house, have a property survey done as well.
You don’t want to move into a home only to discover that your backyard is actually a lot smaller than you thought. You want to know where your property lines are and how much land you’re getting along with a home when buying it.
14. See If the Seller of a Home Will Cover Your Closing Costs
Often times, sellers looking to sell their homes quickly will be more than happy to cover at least part of the closing costs for a buyer.
It never hurts to ask a seller if they would be willing to do it for you. It can help you save a couple thousand dollars in some instances and leave you feeling like you got a bargain on the best house.
15. Back Out of a Deal for a Home If You Don’t Feel Comfortable With It
If at any point during the home-buying process you don’t feel comfortable with something, you can always back out of a deal. In fact, it’s better to back out at the last minute than to go through with a deal simply because you think you have to do it.
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Make sure you feel good about doing it before a deal is done.
Find the Best House to Buy Today
Tracking down the best house for you and your family can be a challenge. It can take weeks and, in some cases, even months to do it.
But it’ll be well worth it in the end. Use these secrets to your advantage and find a home that you’ll love both now and well into the future.
Read our blog for more helpful tips on buying and selling homes.