Whether you are an experienced home buyer or a first timer, the process can be a bit overwhelming with a lot of moving parts, paperwork and multiple parties involved. So to make sure that you are keeping in mind some very important aspects of the process, here is a list of some crucial home buying tips to help you keep things straight.
Buying a House is Actually a Contract
During the process of purchasing a home there will be a very large stack of papers that you will be required to sign. Many of them are actually home buying contracts. What many people do not know is that there is room to negotiate the terms of these contracts and you do not have to sign them unless you are completely happy with the terms. Terms like more time to review the inspection findings, major repairs that you want to be covered by the seller or deducted from sale price, any testing and so on can all be negotiated with the seller.
Consider Future Plans
One huge mistake that many people often neglect is that they fail to take their future plans into account. No one knows exactly what the future holds but you have a good idea if you are happy with your job or may consider changing careers or if you have a family or want to start one. There are a lot of future factors that you will want to consider before purchasing a home. You do not want to be looking for a new home in a year or so because you did not plan effectively because buying a home is an investment and more of a long-term situation.
Before signing any paperwork, make sure that you have had the home inspected by a trustworthy home inspector. This may be one of the most important aspects because a thorough home inspection that catches and reveals any minor or major issues with the home (structurally, electrical, wiring and so on) can save you money down the road. The last thing you want to do is purchase the home and then find out that the foundation is failing or the whole house needs to be rewired. Spend the money on a quality inspection and you will never regret it.
Make Sure You Can Afford the Home
The rule of thumb is 1/3 of your gross income is what you can realistically afford to spend each month on mortgage payment, taxes and insurance. While this may be considered a conservative estimate, it is always better to lean towards the lower end of the spectrum. That being said, there are certain things that you may not be able to sacrifice in terms of what you need in a home but keeping more money in your pocket is always a good thing. Whether you are trying to save money or unsure of your future financial situation, make sure that you can afford the home if your money fluctuates a bit over time.
Purchase Price is Only One of the Costs
When figuring out what you can afford to pay each month, make sure that you consider all other expenses related to owning a home. Insurance, homeowner association fees and property taxes can add up and surprise homeowners when they are due. Keep these in mind when you are figuring your budget.
Speaking of homeowner associations, ask to see the contract (if there is one) and look over all the rules and regulations. Make sure that you are completely clear and okay with all the aspects of the contract because some places can have very strict rules. It is always better to know what kind of HOA you will be living in before any papers are signed.
The Search Can Take a While
Do not get frustrated if finding your home takes longer than you expected. Homes enter and leave the market everyday, so just because you have not found one yet does not mean that tomorrow you will not either. Working with an experienced and trusted real estate agent can help cut down your search time as well.
A quality real estate agent will help you with the following:
Help you find properties that fit what you are looking for.
Coordinate showings of the homes that match.
Evaluate the seller’s asking price.
Help you figure out a competitive offer amount.
Negotiate with the seller and close the purchase.
But also they will provide invaluable tips and knowledge from the numerous transactions that they have been a part of. A real estate agent can help you through the process, keep everything straight and remind you of anything you may have missed along the way.
Jeff Barchi, P.C. Realtor is regarded by many in the Valley as the very best realtor in Phoenix. Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley since 1999, Jeff Barchi and his team provide exceptional service and will help you in the process of buying your next home!