Buying your first house is a beautiful, yet a stressful experience. Not that it gets much easier with your second home, though. But, still, at least you know what you are up against. Well, I believe that first time home buyers should also know what they are up against, instead of simply throwing themselves in the fire and hoping for the best. That is bound to lead to some mistakes, such as the ones seen on this page.
House shopping in Valdosta shouldn’t be so complicated. And it wouldn’t be, weren’t it for the fact that you keep forgetting to take some important steps in the process. Forgetting things and doing them the wrong way are the top reasons why you might find yourself having the worst buying experience in history. So, here are some useful tips to prevent that from happening to you.
Start Saving Money For A Down Payment On Time
Purchasing a house is definitely not an idea that pops up today and gets done in a week. The realization of this idea takes time. However, when the time comes to start being serious about it, you will wish you had some money saved up. That’s why you need to start thinking about this much, much in advance. And here’s why.
Although some lenders might offer different terms, a 20% down payment is the most common scenario you will come across. And, even if you manage to find a deal that requires you to put down less, you will still need a significant amount of money. So, I suggest you set up a savings plan in advance and be prepared for when the time comes.
Get Your Credit In Order
When applying for a loan, your credit score will be among the key determinants of whether you will get it or not. Plus, it will be a crucial factor in deciding on your interest rate and the terms of the loan. Therefore, prior to applying for a loan, you should check your credit to see if there is anything driving down the score. If necessary, try to find a way to increase that score.
Getting pre-qualified is not the same as getting preapproved. A pre-qualification is simply an estimate on how much a lender may be willing to lend. A preapproval is when a specific lender examines all your finances thoroughly and gives you a written document that shows how much they are willing to lend you and under which terms. This document is called a preapproval letter and you definitely need it if you want sellers to take you seriously.
Hire The Right Agent
I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is, especially when you are buying a house for the first time. The simple truth is – if you try to go through the shopping process on your own, you will definitely make a myriad of mistakes. Some of them might cost you a lot, both money-wise and time-wise. So, before going any further, find the right buyer’s agent to assist you during the whole process.
Now, there are a lot of trustworthy agents you can find in your area, Mercer Hughes Real Estate Valdosta being one of those. And, since this is probably the most important decision you will have to make, you can’t simply hire the first person that comes along. In order to make sure that you are getting the best for your money, do some research and talk to a few people before making the hire.
Be Attentive During Open Houses
You need to understand that all the houses you look at during this process are carefully prepared to grab your attention and get you to like it. You might get carried away and your emotions might get the better of you, leaving you unable to look at the house objectively and rationally. Don’t let that happen and be extra attentive and careful during open houses.
Look at the overall condition of the property, check for smells, stains, or things that need to be repaired. Don’t be afraid to ask all the important questions and let your agent step in and use his or her expertise to ask the right things. After viewing the property, take some time to let the impressions sink in and then assess it. And, most importantly, listen to your agent, since they are definitely the more objective party here.
Don’t Forget To Negotiate
Paying attention to the state of the home serves another function. It gives you an opportunity to negotiate. For example, you might have seen something that needs to be repaired. That allows you to ask the seller if there is a possibility for the cost of repair to be deducted from the price, or if they will get the issue fixed. This is just one of the examples of how a negotiation process might go.
However, I don’t expect you to be a negotiating wizard. Once again, this is where your agent might be of big help. They are bound to know all the tricks in the book and they are definitely not afraid to use them. This will give you an upper hand and help you lower the price of the house you are buying. And, even if you don’t believe that they will lower the price significantly, every single penny deducted from the cost is a win.