Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. It’s a significant investment, and ideally, it needs to last for a while until you get enough equity out of it to make a profitable sale. Being smart about the home you choose will help you make a wise investment, one that can help you move ahead financially.
While the weight and enormity of buying a home might make some people run back to their rented apartment to avoid closing costs and mortgage maneuvers, we want you to be armed with helpful information so you can sign on the dotted line with confidence.
Work with a trusted realtor. We’ve heard many horror stories of bad real estate deals when the buyer or seller was not represented by a realtor. The paperwork and negotiations can be overwhelming; it’s in your best interest to have a competent realtor by your side to ensure your wishes and needs are met. A savvy realtor works for you, protecting your interests and guiding you through the process from negotiating a price to navigating home inspections.
Remember to negotiate. When buying or selling a house, it involves a contract. Contracts are meant to be negotiated; you don’t have to sign the first contract you’re given. Buyers and sellers aren’t always willing to negotiate, which makes every sell unique, but your realtor can act on your behalf and see what they are willing to do. That’s where your savvy realtor can help!
Look down the road. How does your life look five and ten years from now? Depending on the market and your mortgage terms, it could be five-plus years before you pay enough down to begin to get equity. A home for two to five years could be an entirely different home from one for ten to fifteen years. Your realtor can guide you.
Be realistic about what you can afford. Banks will usually approve you for higher than you’ll feel comfortable spending. There are a number of factors to consider, including the type of mortgage, projected income, and interest rates. Again, your realtor will know the current market. Having an open and honest discussion about your comfort level will help you be confident in your decision.
Armed with this information and a great realtor, you can confidently step into the world of being a homeowner!