When we decide to make a major purchase, such as a car, we do research, research, and more research. It is a major purchase and we don’t want to make a big mistake. An even larger purchase is buying a home. How to do research? There are not any Kelly Blue Books or Consumer Reports to go to.
Here are a few steps to keep from making the Top 10 Buyer mistakes when you decide that you are ready to get serious about buying a home.
STEP 1. Have a plan. This means being organized. This is one of the biggest personal investments you will probably make in your lifetime. Having a plan will lower the stress and will help you making the best deal.
STEP 2. Get Pre-approved or secure an interest rate. This will ensure that your payments don’t suddenly increase. You will know what type of loan you are using because different types of loans have different requirements for the home you want. You will have a price range so you are armed with the knowledge of what you can afford. Securing the interest rate at a lower rate before you start looking at homes can save big bucks because the interest rates are climbing.
Step 3. Choosing the right location is very important. Upsizing, downsizing, or relocating, you need to determine the lifestyle of your family and what location would best meet these needs. Just like marketing, the main thing is location, location, location. Things to look at are: convenience to work, family, friends, and recreation such as pools, parks, and activities that your family will enjoy. What shopping is in the proximity along with schools and transportation? Check out taxes, CDD and other current costs or proposed costs. Look into the crime statistics for the area that you are considering.
Step 4. Learn about the neighborhood. This can be hard to find out about everything about the neighborhoods that will be great matches for your family’s lifestyle. This is where having a good local realtor helping you. The realtor will know the neighborhoods that will best meet your criteria.
Step 5. Understand property value before making an offer. A local realtor will be able to do a Market Comparison that will help with this. This information will make the offer part of buying a home much less stressful.
Step 6. Be effective in negotiations. Many buyers make the mistake of making the original offer way too low trying to achieve a fair purchase price. Knowledge is power when in negotiations. The Comparative Home Marketing Report has a lot of the knowledge that you will need in deciding an offer price.
Step 7. Don’t miss the best deal. A local realtor knows how to find the best home for your family’s needs. When you find it, remember, he who hesitates is lost. It might be on the market today, but could be sold tomorrow.
Step 8. Use a competent and licensed home inspector. While you have fallen in love with the “perfect home”, the inspector will look at it differently. The inspector will look for anything that could be a problem and you will not be surprised with deficiencies that could cost thousands of dollars. Most home purchase contracts contain home inspection requirements.
Step 9. Home warranty. A home warranty is not always part of the home purchase. Ask. This covers unexpected costly repairs. Some sellers will pay for this warranty but some will not. They are relatively inexpensive but can be a great benefit.
Step 10. Use a Realtor. Many buyers mistakenly think that they can save the commission that a Realtor receives. The commission is usually paid by the seller and not the buyer. The Realtor is skilled in successful negotiations, finding the best home for your family’s needs, estate contracts, and doing the best job for you. Not having a Realtor could be the most costly mistake you can make considering the important investment in your new home.
Tayna Vy is a Residential Specialist in Sarasota, Florida. She covers Sarasota, Manatee, and North Charlotte Counties. Contact Tayna for properties to purchase, short sales assistance and new homeownership programs. 941-955-2224 or TaynaVy @gmail.com.