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.

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5 Unexpected things Home Buyers want to See

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How to Be a Savvy Home Viewer

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5 Tips for Selling your Home Quickly

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Make your House “Picture Perfect” for Buyers

When you walk into a nice hotel room, what do you usually notice first? It may be the large, often beautiful picture hanging above the bed. You’ll probably find a smaller, equally attractive picture hanging in the bathroom. Often there will be at least two more adorning other walls. That’s no ...

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Remove Emotion when Selling

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How to Deal with Competing Offers

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Deciding Whether to Stay Or Sell

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The Importance of Showing your Home Often

Imagine coming across a “Home for Sale” listing on the internet. It’s in a community you’re seriously considering. You and your family are excited. You can hardly wait to view the property and see if it could be your next dream home. Then, there’s a problem. When you contact the agent, she ...

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Take a Walk on the Boardwalk (or Sidewalk)

If you’ve played the game Monopoly, you’ve probably picked up the Chance card that reads, “Take a walk on the Boardwalk. If you pass Go…” That’s good advice when shopping for a new home. When you see a property you like and you’re thinking of making an offer, spend some time ...

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