Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
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. When you work with an exclusive buyer's agent, you have a partner in what can be a complicated and overwhelming process. You have someone who will have your best interests at heart and work hard to find you the right property. They can help you with strategies during the bidding process, and connect you with great lenders, inspectors, and other professionals you will need along the way.
Get your finances in order.
Find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. Your real estate agent will be able to advise on the best lender for your specific situation. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. The market moves quickly and you want to be well positioned once you find the one. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. The lender can help with this.
Find a house you can afford.
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, insurance, condo and HOA fees etc. A good lender can provide estimates to be sure you find the right balance of how much you can afford monthly and how much you can and want to spend out of pocket.
Do your homework about location.
Before making a bid, do some research to be sure about which neighborhoods are best suited for your needs and allow fall within your budget. The one thing you can't change about your home is the location, so spend some time honing in on a neighborhood or a few neighborhoods that suit you before falling in love with a particular properly just based on the photos. A good real estate agent who knows their market well can provide suggestions based on your needs. The Karrie Gavin Group excels in this department!
Think long term.
Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years, unless you might want to consider keeping the property and holding as an investment at that time. Philadelphia is a wonderful market to own investment properties, so this can be a good backup plan if oyu end up ready to move on for any reason before your home has had a little time to appreciate in value.