Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is an exciting process. However, there’s also a lot to consider when you decide to buy so it’s important to work with an agent who truly understands the market, has experience with multiple offer situations, and someone who likes to educate throughout the home buying process. Once you choose an agent to represent you, ask yourself these 4 questions.
What do I want?
Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy. From single-family and multi-family homes to condos and co-ops, there are many different options on the market and it’s important to choose the type that best fits your needs. Figuring out the town or neighborhood you want to live in is equally important. While a property might have all of the amenities you’re looking for, factors like crime rate and proximity to highways can impact the overall home-owning experience. A good idea is to list out and prioritize your needs (e.g. large backyard, great school system) before you begin your search.
What can I afford?
The rule of thumb is that you should never spend more than 30% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. An alternate rule states that you can afford to buy a property that runs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary. For a more tailored look at what you can afford, use an online mortgage calculator to see what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought a home today.
Am I financially prepared?
A few months before you start searching for a home, review your credit history and make sure it is in good standing. Get copies of your credit report, ensure that it’s accurate, and fix any issues you discover. It’s likely that you’ll also want to get pre-approved for a home loan, which will put you in a better position to make a serious offer once you find the right property.
How do I make the best offer?
This is where your real estate agent’s expertise really comes into play. Working with agents who are local and know the comparable sales, market activity, and inventory will be invaluable when it comes time to make your offer. When Tom and I work with you as our buyer, our objective is to get you the house you want, where you want, and at the best price. Our experience enables us to deliver this to our clients time and time again.