One of the most significant investments in your lifetime will be purchasing a new home. While it tends to be at the top of the list for the American Dream, home ownership and finding that perfect place to settle down, can actually be a little scarier than expected.
With all the excitement of purchasing a home, it’s easy to overlook certain aspects of the process that could play a major role in the type of property you purchase. Fortunately enough, your Coldwell Banker Berger Real Estate Family is here to help you prepare.
Here are three things to do before you call a real estate agent.
1. Narrow down your wish list
Is a large kitchen with extra cabinet space a must-have? Does your master suite need to have a garden tub and double sinks? Does the garage need to be a 2-car garage?
Before you venture out on house hunting ,these are the types of questions you need to think about. Make a list. Try to limit yourself to a few non-negotiable home features. This wish list will not only help your realtor out for finding the perfect home, but it will hopefully speed up the home search process.
Bonus Tip: Figure out your preferred Neighborhood
Homebuyers are in a better position than ever to learn about neighborhoods with a simple online search, and then compare them to other nearby neighborhoods to determine which is best for them.
2. Set a budget and stick to it
First thing you should do is get pre-approved for a loan so you can have an established price range in mind. The pre-approval amount that the lender offers will help you figure out the home price range you can afford and what you’ll be expected to pay monthly.
Budgeting can sometimes be the most difficult part of the home purchasing process because this is where you are going to have to learn if you need to make compromises on your wish list in order to stay within the price range.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and get carried away with all of the details a house you’re viewing doesn’t have, but keep referring back to your list and budget. They should be top priority during your search. Also, be open with your realtor. He/She is the expert when it comes to scouting out the best homes.
3. Set realistic timeline expectations
Unlike HGTV’s “House Hunters International,” you won’t be able to find your next home in 30 minutes, including commercial breaks. In fact, it can take weeks, months, even up to a year.
Additionally, effective Oct. 3, the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, among other things, requires lenders to provide the Closing Disclosure form to borrowers at least three days before closing, meaning if the lender is delayed in getting the form to the borrower, the closing must be pushed back. Gone are the days where we could close in 14 days, unless you’re obviously a cash buyer.
Other things to think about before you call your real estate agent:
- To get the best bang for your buck, searching for price comps in your desired area is a must.
- Scope out your preferred neighborhood ahead of time. Visit the area at different times of the day to get a feel for what goes on around the clock.
- Choose a real estate agent that is familiar with selling homes in your area, as he/she will be experts on pricing your home appropriately.
As with any major sale or purchase, your first steps to buying a home involve homework and a little preparation. If you’re in the market for a new home, reach out to us at Berger Real Estate of Okeechobee. Serving all your residential, commercial, development real estate needs since 1970.