Home Buying Tips



1) Get Ready for Home Ownership

·      Build a good credit history

·      Get mortgage pre-approval

·      Find out what type of mortgages you quality for

·      Consider hiring an attorney to review all contracts and agreements associated with the home buying process

·      Save up for a down payment (typically 10-20% of property’s value; if FHA-qualified, then possibly less)

·         Consider closing costs which can include taxes, attorney’s fees, and transfer fees

·         Consider utilities and monthly bills, such as homeowner's assessments

2) Find a Real Estate Professional

·      Get a referral from friends, family, and work colleagues, or search realtor.com® and look for real estate yard signs and advertisements

·      Ask the real estate professionals you interview about buyer's representation contracts and agreements; make sure you understand the terms

·      Explain your needs and expectations to the real estate professional you choose to work with

3) Find the Right Property

·      Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walkability, etc.

·      Make sure you include home owner’s assessments, utilities, and taxes when calculating the monthly mortgage payment

4) Finance the Property

·      Contact your mortgage broker or lender

·      The lender or attorney will run a title search to ensure there are no clouds on the title

·      Make sure you understand the financing terms—ask the lender for clarification, if needed

5) Make an Offer

·      Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector

·      Acquire title insurance

·      Make sure the title is clear, or make your offer contingent upon title clearance

·      Read all contracts before signing—make sure you understand all of the terms, ask questions

·      Place a competitive bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer

·      Keep your credit score stable and in-check by waiting to purchase any big-ticket items until long after the closing

·      Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted

6) Closing and Life After the Big Purchase

·      Protect your new asset by obtaining insurance such as homeowner’s, flood, disaster, and fire

·      Weatherproof your new home

·      Maintain files—digital or print—for all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc.

·      Keep original closing documents in a safe place, preferably outside the home (such as a safety deposit box)

·      Set up utilities bills in your name, maintain files

·      Implement desired aesthetic changes such as painting, minor construction, and re-flooring

·      Set a move date and hire movers or plan a move party with your friends

·      Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood

·    If you're happy with the work of your real estate professional, be sure to recommend her/him to friends and family


Published: 6/11/2010