Know These 5 Things Before Buying a House
People have been buying and selling houses for centuries, in every culture and in every kind of economy. Plunking down a large chunk of money in exchange for a place to live is a fact of life for anyone who wants to avoid the high cost of renting and leasing. But what are the key things house-hunters need to know before they begin their quest to buy? Well, it’s not “all about price,” as the following suggestions from experienced housing experts point out:
Tips for Buyers
Buying a house isn’t rocket science, but it does call for a certain amount of determination, persistence and patience. Here are the five most important things to know before you buy a home:
- Find out what your credit score is: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a high or “excellent” credit score to purchase a home. But be aware that is you score is in the “fair to good” range, you will be paying a higher interest rate compared to buyers who have higher scores. This is a key point because even a small difference in interest rates can mean you’ll end up paying much more in interest over the life of a typical 30-year mortgage. If you score is on the low side, consider spending a year or so improving them. Save regularly, keep credit card use to a minimum and don’t open any new loan accounts.
- Know exactly what kind of house you want: A realtor can help you here, but it’s a good idea to sit down and write out the exact specifications of your “dream house.” Don’t expect to get everything. No one does. But knowing what you want will help make the process move along much faster and give the agent solid information to work with.
- Figure out your spending range: Do the necessary math in order to know, within $10,000-$20,000, how much house you can afford. There’s no sense looking at homes outside your price range.
- Plan to re-key all the locks: You’ll get a fresh set of keys from your realtor after the deal closes but it’s smart to have all the locks re-keyed. Security should be among your first priorities even after all the financial details taken care of. It’s easy to forget about security with so many other things on your mind, but remember to re-key every lock and consider installing smart locks on both the front and back doors.
- Know why you need a professional realtor, and then find one: An experienced real estate agent can help you locate several homes in your price range that have most or all of your basic requirements. Plus, a professional agent can show you how to negotiate for a lower purchase price if a seller is open to a range of offers.
Now, It’s Time to Go House-Hunting
Take time to digest the information above and venture forth toward your new home. Remember, plan ahead, enlist expert help, and take your time. Contrary to what you hear, buying a house entails so much more than price and “location, location, location.” There are dozens of moving pieces in the home-buying process. Working with a professional real estate agent and being attentive to all the details will get you the house of your dreams.