Buying a home is not as easy as most people think. It requires several levels of negotiation, basic understanding of housing rules and many other things that can help people with big purchases like this. This article represents the house-buying guide written in 5 different steps.
Step 1: Know Your Need
Not everybody needs a house. Depending on their needs people should decide whether they should buy a new home, or keep renting until they decide to settle down for good. The ones who want to stay at least for 3 years in one area, should definitely think about purchasing a real estate there.
For smaller periods of time rent is much more affordable option, and no matter how long people plan to stay in an area they need to check several options before deciding to take the next steps. Most people decide to buy a house when they want to start a family, get tired of renting or want to invest some money in real estate.
Whatever reason they have, everybody should know that homeowners have much more responsibilities, which include regular mortgage payments, insurance payments and constant small repairs.
Step 2: Know Your Means
Another important thing when deciding to become a homeowner is a current financial situation, which should be as clear as possible, without any old mortgage or loan obligations. Future homeowners should also have at least 20% of their new home’s price in cash, which they need to give for the down-payment.
This is not necessary for the first-time buyers, but this can help them to save a lot of money on the long run. Choosing the right mortgage is another challenge, which should be solved by calculating the rates and asking people who bought houses recently for their opinions.
Step 3: Inspect Current Situation on the Market
Buyers have different preferences. Short-time buyers usually don’t spend too much time in the real estate they’re buying, and they need to pay closer attention at the current market trends when buying a home. Long-term buyers usually pay more attention to the neighborhood, nearby schools, play-grounds, transportation etc.
The only way to be sure they won’t over-pay their new home, it’s important for buyers to investigate comparable properties and the ones that were sold in previous six months and so they can know is the price that owners are asking for realistic.
Real estate market is not that different from stock market, which means that it’s very unpredictable and waiting on the sidelines for prices to go down maybe isn’t such a good idea. Currently real estate market in United States is still recovering from the big housing crisis that struck the country in 2008, so the today’s prices are probably the lowest in next 10 years from now.
Buyers should also buy the house that comes with the mortgage that suits their needs. Housing crises from 2008 is a great reminder of what can happen if taking too expensive mortgage may result in losing both the house and the money.
Step 4: Meet the Owners
Owners always want to over-price their property and that’s completely normal. Buyers and real estate agents need to prepare well for the meeting with them. This includes preparing questions they are going ask. Some of the questions buyers should definitely ask when meeting the owners are:
- How old is the roof?
- How much do you pay for heating?
- When was the last time you changed the water heater?
- How much does house insurance cost?
- What was the latest renovation work you had?
Before meeting the owners, buyers or real estate agents should also check will the house conveyancing go smooth, as well as all the permits for the house and all additional constructions in the yard, like sheds, pools etc.
Step 5: Seal the Deal
Before agreeing to buy certain home, buyers should bring a home inspection. These inspections usually cost from $200 to $400 and they can reveal some problems the home has, that need to be solved before the purchase, or they can lower this price of home, by pointing out parts that need fixing or renovation.
Homeowners insurance I another thing that should be evaluated before the purchase. Closing documents should be prepared by real estate agent or an attorney, but they should also be reviewed and understood by the buyers themselves.