There are 5 things you must do when house hunting:
- Obtain Loan Pre-approval.
- Determine House Hunting Goals.
- Learn about Potential Areas.
- Work with an Experienced Realtor.
- Enjoy the Process.
Top 5 “MUST HAVE” List for Buyers…
1. Loan Pre-Approval
Being financially prepared and understanding your housing budget is #1 on the list. Doing the work upfront will prevent unnecessary stress when searching for your next home.
Pre-Qualification (unverified) vs Pre-Approval (verified) – understanding the difference. Don’t begin your house hunting adventure on the wrong foot. The easiest and fastest way to get in trouble is to have a false sense of knowing what you can afford. A Pre-Qualification is based upon unverified income information you provide to a lender and significantly increases your chance of unforeseen surprises/problems with your loan process. A Pre-Approval is a verified process of identifying income, assets, expenses, and credit report and provides a greater chance for a successful closing as there should be no surprises that can derail your chances of buying a home.
2. Determine House Hunting Goals
Understanding the differences between WANTS, NEEDS AND WISHES are important steps in finding your next home. So often, Buyer’s begin their house search with an unrealistic expectation of finding “The Perfect Home” and believing that everything on their list is a NEED. If a Buyer is experiencing anxiety in the house hunting process, it is usually because they have not properly identified the difference between their Needs, Wants and Wishes.
3. Learn About Potential Areas
Knowing where you want to live is just as important as what type of house you would like. There is a reason why many have heard the phrase, “Location, Location, Location”. Do you want to live in a top-rated school district, or do you need to be within a certain mile radius of your job? Would you like to live in an active community, or does the idea of living out in the country with acreage sound more appealing?
4. Work with an Experienced Realtor
The number one recommendation in finding a good Realtor, is to find one with experience. Interview the potential agent and ask about the type of service they provide. Most importantly, understand buying a home is a financial investment with certain risks. Don’t leave your financial investment/exposure to anyone that doesn’t have your best interest at heart. The best representation is an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement; this way, you will understand the terms and conditions of your Agent relationship and have confidence the Agent is looking out for your best interest.
5. Enjoy the Process
Although buying a home can be stressful, it doesn’t need to be. Being prepared by having a Loan Pre-Approval, understanding your House Hunting Goals, Needs and Wants, knowing where you would like to live and working with a Realtor who is working for you, will make the home buying process so much easier and the best experience possible. Enjoy the journey and when you close on your next home, the destination will feel GREAT!
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”