Buying a home is likely the biggest investment you will ever make. Here are eight pro tips to help you get the best deal possible:
1. Don’t Mentally Move In Until The Fat Lady Sings.
If you have already mentally moved in to your home before closing you will lose your ability to objectively determine whether that property is the best fit for you and your family. You may also lose leverage in negotiating fair terms as the seller can tell if you have taken the bait hook, line and sinker. Instead, when you think you may have found your ideal home, stay objective on whether it is indeed the best home for you and your family.
2. Set Aside Money For Expensive Surprises.
When you move in there are likely to be surprises. Some of these will be inexpensive such as light bulbs being out, but other surprises can be more expensive.
Particularly if the seller has disclosed flaws in the home, be prepared to spend money to fix those right away. Chances are if the seller has disclosed a troublesome hot water heater, washer or roof it is not a problem that can wait to year 4 or 5, but instead will need to be fixed sooner rather than later.
3. Set Aside Money For Design Improvements.
You will likely want to make some design changes (“My goodness those drapes are awful!”). You may also need to purchase furniture and other items for your home ("We thought the couch would fit, but it looks like we will need a new one").
4. Set Aside Money To Treat Yourself.
Moving into a home is an exciting, life changing experience. Be sure to set aside money to customize your home to make it a true oasis from your work life. For example, if it is your first time owning a yard, buying a grill and patio furniture. Be smart and set aside a few thousand dollars to pay for design choices that will be hard to delay once you move in.
5. Don't Forget About Closing Costs.
Also set aside a few grand for closing costs for your home. Your mortgage broker can provide you with an estimate of how much to anticipate for these costs.
6. Strategically Select Your Mortgage.
A 30 year fixed mortgage is not a one size all solution. You should work with a savvy mortgage broker to see if a 7 or 15 years mortgage might fit your circumstances best, particularly if you plan on selling the home in a few years.
7. Be Prepared To Provide A Blood Sample To Get A Mortgage.
Getting approved for a home loan can be a tedious process. Just when you think you have provided every last piece of financial information, the mortgage broker is likely to ask you for more. To keep from going crazy, plan for the time it will take to complete the paperwork. It is also helpful to keep in mind how much documentation you would ask for if you were going to loan a large amount of money to a stranger.
8. Strategically Time Your Home Purchase Around Other Life Changes.
If possible, try not to purchase a home when you are going through other major life changes, such as changing jobs or having a child. Getting approved for a mortgage, purchasing a home and moving can be extremely stressful and time consuming. If possible it is best to focus on it when you already do not have other big points of stress occurring in your life.
9. Beware Of Your Own Hubris.
We all hate paying fees, but it is unwise to learn on the fly when you are making the biggest investment of your life. Instead of trying to figure out all of the home buying wrinkles yourself, work with a knowledgeable real esate agent to guide you through the process.
Are you looking for a rockstar real estate broker to help you purchase a home? If so, give us a call at (415) 295-6370.