Blog: Looking to Buy a Home?

Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get your finances in order.

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.

Find a house you can afford.

As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Hire a professional.

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

Do your homework.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.

Think long term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

Don’t Forget Home Insurance

When you’re buying or selling a home, there are so many details to look after that it’s easy to miss something. One thing you don’t want to forget is insurance. Once your property has sold, you’ll need to contact your insurance company to let them know the date that ownership of ...

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What to Look For, Room by Room

When viewing a home for sale, many buyers look at the property from a “macro” perspective. They ask themselves questions like: “Is it large enough?”; “Are there enough bedrooms?”; “Is it in a nice community?” While those questions are important, it also pays to consider a potential new home from ...

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How to Buy the Right Home, Quickly

You’re in a rush. You have just three weeks to find and buy the right home. Whoa! How are you going to make that happen?Don’t stress. Here are some tips that will help: • Get a pre-approved mortgage. With this document, you’ll know exactly what you can afford. A seller will ...

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Staging the Three Most Important Rooms

When your home is shown to potential buyers, every room is important. However, there are three types of rooms that buyers tend to pay particular attention to: kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. How do you make these rooms look great? Use these staging tips from professionals. In the kitchen, make sure the stove, ...

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Little Touch Ups that Make a Big Difference

You are probably already aware of the major things you need to do around your home to get it ready for sale. These include getting rid of clutter, doing minor repairs, and making everything clean and tidy so every room is as much of a showcase as possible. But there are ...

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When to Consider a less-than-ideal Home

Obviously, when you’re searching for a new home, you want to find one that is ideal. It should be your next dream home. However, sometimes it pays to consider at least some properties that don’t meet all your criteria. After all, you never know whether one of them is actually ...

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Smart Packing Tips for Moving Day

The last thing you need after a long moving day is to discover that a valuable item was damaged. That’s certain to dampen your spirits when you’re just getting settled into your new home. Here are some packing tips to help ensure that doesn’t happen: Avoid worn-out or damaged boxes as ...

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What a Buyer is Thinking While Viewing Your Home

Ask any good salesperson for an effective selling technique and they’ll probably say something like, “Understand the buyer. Try to figure out what they’re thinking.” That’s good advice for you to consider when you’re putting your home up for sale. You need to imagine what a buyer might be thinking while ...

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Don’t Forget the Commute

Some home buyers consider purchasing a home that is less expensive but farther away from work. In particular, people who work in an urban area sometimes consider living outside the city, where housing costs a little less. Is that a good option? It depends, to some extent, on the cost of ...

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Reasons to Consider Making a Move

When is it a good time to sell your property and buy another home? Whenever there’s a good reason to do so! There are many things that may motivate you to consider making a move. For example: Your current home no longer meets your needs. You may have more space than you ...

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