The Home-Buying Experience
The home-buying experience is not for you to do on your own. Whether you’re looking for your first home or your fifth home, no home-buying experience is ever the same. Contact Jim Stafford Real Estate in Bloomington, IN, when you need an experienced real estate agent.
Helpful Real Estate Agent
- They will help you determine how much home you can actually afford, help you become pre-approved, and find your home faster.
- They can work for you as a buyer’s agent and help get you the best price and terms.
- They can serve as a seller’s sub-agent or as a liaison between you and the seller.
- They will help you work out a realistic idea of the home best suited to your needs
- They have access to a listing of all available homes in the multi-listing system
- They supply information on real estate values, taxes, utilities, and municipal services
- They can help familiarize you with the closing process
- They can provide you with a list of qualified inspectors
Research Is The Key To Discovery
Finding your dream home in the right neighborhood means asking around, taking a walk through the neighborhood, and keeping up with what’s listed. Your dream home won’t find you, you need to find it!
Make A Plan And Get Pre-Qualified
Develop a home-buying plan to avoid agreeing to terms that are outside your budget. Creating a binder sectioned with financing, home searches, and mortgage companies will keep you organized. Getting pre-approved gives you a starting point for your home’s price. A thought-out plan will save you money and time.
Value, Value, Value
Homebuyers in the 1970’s benefited from what seemed like ever appreciating home prices. Nowadays, you’re looking at slow growth while guarding against the possibilities of falling prices, skyrocketing rates and corporate layoffs that can dramatically affect home values. Buying the worst house in the best neighborhood still applies. If you buy with the intention of improvement, you can customize the home to fit your needs.
Create A Top 10 List Of Amenities
Creating a list of what you want in a house, in order of importance is a good way to find what you’re looking for. Be realistic and know that a house with all of your top 10 amenities in the perfect neighborhood with no work required will probably not fit into your “first-time homebuyer” budget. Be willing to whittle the granite countertops off your list, knowing you can add them later in a remodeling project.
Fixed vs. Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Adjustable rate mortgages have an initial fixed rate, which then has a period of adjustment intervals when the rate adjusts based on the performance of several key factors. Fixed rate mortgages allow buyers to get a long term loan without having to worry about changing interest rates or monthly payments. Most fixed rate loans are offered in either 15 or 30-year terms. Most buyers will opt for a fixed rate loan, but your situation is unique. While ARM loans have become less popular in recent years, they can still be an option for some buyers – especially those who plan to sell the home again soon.
Sign A Contract That Protects You
Make sure that the contract you sign allows you to arrange financing, inspect the home and negotiate to correct any problems that you find. Ensuring that the contract you sign will minimize potential legal battles will allow you to swim in your new pool with your family and neighbors instead of swimming with the sharks.
Put Yourself In The Seller’s Shoes
You are about to make one of the most important decisions of your life and the life of the seller. If you take time to understand the reasons the seller bought the home, their reasons for selling, and the home improvements that may still need to be made, you’ll be in a position to evaluate the home and negotiate a better deal. A closer look at the seller may help you in deciding whether and for how much to buy a particular home.
Develop A Mortgage Shopping Chart
One of the biggest decisions to make when buying a home is how to finance the purchase. There are an endless number of lenders competing for your mortgage business. Today, you can apply for a loan over the Internet or even use a mortgage broker to shop for your loan. When choosing a lender, avoid apples to oranges contrasts by comparing fixed rates to fixed rates, not fixed to ARM’s. Create a spreadsheet to compare at least 5 of each type of loan, and a mortgage broker’s options.
Get A Quality Home Inspection
It is hard to believe that more people pay for inspections before buying used cars than when making the biggest investment of their lives – their homes. Paying for a quality home inspection before you buy a home isn’t just spending “a little extra” for peace of mind; it’s absolutely essential for anyone who doesn’t want to spend thousands of dollars for repairs that could have been avoided.
Peace Of Mind: Home Protection Plans
To protect both you as the buyer, as well as the seller, it is a good idea to purchase a home protection plan. What exactly is it? A home warranty, or home protection plan, is a service contract, normally for one year. This protects homeowners against the cost of unexpected repairs or replacement of their major appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear.
This is a negotiable contract between the buyers and sellers that does not overlap or replace homeowner’s insurance policy. This type of warranty can save the new homeowner lots of headaches, as well as put seller’s fears to rest. The warranty covers mechanical breakdowns, while insurance typically repairs the related damage. For example: if a hot water heater burst and destroyed the flooring in your home, the warranty would repair the water heater and your insurance would pay to replace the carpet.