A few things to consider before you decide to purchase your home:
- Pre-Approval: A pre-approval letter from a lender not only lets you know how much you can afford, it sets you aside from the competition. When a seller sees that a buyer has a pre-approval letter, they are more willing to go with your offer than someone who doesn’t. With Pre-Approval, you apply for a mortgage and receive a letter stating how much you are pre-qualified for and the lender sends you a commitment letter. Also, when searching for a home you will know how much you can afford therefore you will save much time and energy looking at homes that you qualify for.
- Wants and Needs: Make 2 separate lists, one for your Wants and another for your Needs. When you’re searching, you can eliminate homes that do not fit your Needs and Wants criteria. Or, during your search, you may find that you may only be able to accommodate your Needs and may have to forgo some of your Wants.
- Location: As you may hear a lot in real estate – Location location location! Print out maps and highlight your favorite locations where you would like to live. Also, make a list of what amenities you would like to be close by or the amount of land you desire. In the desert, being closer to the city and having a large amount of land may not totally go together hand-in-hand, but sometimes properties will come up that may be a good compromise. Or, you may not care about the amount of land and just want the convenience of being close to work and schools.
- Don’t forget the essentials and know that spending some money upfront and putting some time aside can save you from a disaster you didn’t foresee:
- Have inspections done before you purchase your home. Spending a little bit before you commit to the house will help save you the headache of finding out there are more costs to fix an issue.
- Within 24 hours of closing, request a second walk through of the home.
- Before you close, make sure everything you expected to be included with the home will actually stay. For example if the washer and dryer were not specified as being part of the sale and later you find out that the sellers are taking it with them now you have to arrange to buy a new washer and dryer before you move in.
- Consider hiring a real estate professional: When you hire a real estate agent, not only are they taking care of the logistics of the transaction, make sure you find someone who represents you the buyer, not the seller.