TODAY'S Q & A IS WITH TERESA JONES, A REALTOR® SPECIALIZING IN LUXURY HOMES WITH WONDRACEK REALTY GROUP, AN INDIE REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE LOCATED IN GREER, SC.Q: How did you get your start in
10 Things To Know When Buying Your First Home
I often have first time homebuyers tell me they don’t even know where to start the process. Your first home buying experience can be overwhelming so I’ve put together just a quick overview of the home buying process.
1) Know What You Can Afford
Most sellers will not accept an offer without a mortgage pre-approval. Contact local mortgage lenders to know exactly what you can afford AND how much your monthly payments would be. Your Realtor should have a vetted list of local mortgage lenders they trust.
2) Get Your Paperwork in Order
Are you confident in your understanding of what you are signing? Meet with a Realtor to go over the necessary paperwork. If you find a home you love, chances are, others will love it too. The real estate market is moving fast and you will need to as well.
3) Know Your Cost
Ask your Realtor and lender what the true cost of buying your home will be. You need to know how much earnest money you will need to put the house under contract, how much money you need for your down payment, what your loan origination fees will be, how much your closing costs will be, and if you are responsible for any HOA or transfer fees. These are to just name a few.
4) Know Your Needs and Wants
What are your “must haves” versus what “would be nice to have? There is a big difference. Many people start their search by looking for a perfect home only to find out that their perfect home costs twice as much as they can afford. Knowing what are “must haves” and what are “would be nice to haves” from the beginning will make sure you don’t pass up a home that may not have been perfect but would have made you perfectly happy.
5) Set Your Expectations
Take your list of needs and wants to your Realtor and find out how many homes in your area and price range meet that criteria. If you only have two options, you may need to readjust your list.
6) Know Your Market
Are homes selling unusually fast? Is the inventory high or low? Are sellers getting list price for their homes or is there room for negotiations? Your Realtor will have the most current information.
7) Know Your Area
Do you want to be in a certain school district? What about inside city limits? Is the traffic bad? How far are you willing to commute to work? Narrow down your area and be confident you are happy there.
8) Finding Your Home
Now that you are confident in what you want, you can be confident in your home choice. Some people choose the first home they see. Some people choose the twelfth home they see. When you do all the work up front you’ll know the right home when you see it.
Sometimes pride can stall negotiations over $500! Don’t let your emotions cause you to be stuck in a home that you can’t afford or keep you from a home that you love for no reason.
10) It’s Not Over Yet
Once you find the home and negotiate the contract, another phase of work begins. A good Realtor will be able to advise you on quality inspectors, lawyers, contractors, etc. No home buying experience is perfect. There will be problems! What matters most is having a Realtor who can remain calm and fix the problems whether they are big or small.
Enjoy your home after you move in. I have talked with people who literally designed their own home and had it built from the ground up. Soon after, they found there was something they didn’t like about it. There is no perfect home. However, because you spent the time doing the work in steps 1 – 10, you can be confident that you have found the best home for you.
Who is Brad and how can his experience help you? His long history in the area is an asset when helping you find the right home, in the right area, and at the right price. If you are selling a home....