Things You Need To Know Before Buying A House
1. Use a trusted realtor. We all know that realtors get a cut of the sales price of a home which makes some buyers hesitant to use a realtor: they believe it drives up the overall cost. Keep in mind that the seller, not the buyer, pays the commission. Brooke Willmes, real estate agent at SPACE & COMPANY in Philadelphia, says that potential buyers should keep in mind that a listing agent (the agent representing the seller) doesn't protect your interests and "that agent would simply pocket both sides of the commission." That means that you're not saving money. A savvy realtor who works for you can protect your interests and guide you through the buying process - from negotiating a price to navigating home inspections.
things you need to know before buying a house
2. Remember that a house purchase involves a contract. When you're buying a house, there are papers to sign. And more papers to sign. Many of those papers - which are actually contracts - look like "standard" home buying contracts with no room for negotiation. That isn't true. Contracts are meant to be negotiated. You don't have to sign a standard agreement. If you want more time to review your inspection, wish to waive a radon test or want to make a purchase subject to a mortgage approval, you can make that part of the deal. That's where a savvy realtor can help. See again #1.
3. Don't necessarily buy for the life you have today. Chances are that buying a house will be one of the bigger financial commitments you'll make in your lifetime. Before you agree to buy what you think might be your dream house, consider your long-term plans. Are you planning on staying at your current job? Getting married? Having kids? Depending on the market and the terms of your mortgage, you may not actually pay down any real equity for between five and seven years: if you aren't sure that your house will be the house for you in a few years, you may want to keep looking.
4. Think about commitment. I'm not talking just about your mortgage. When you get married, the laws of your state generally determine how your assets are treated - and ultimately how they're distributed at divorce. The same rules don't necessarily apply when you're not married. That means you need to think long term. When you buy a house with your significant other who is not your spouse, make sure you have an exit plan if things don't go the way you hope. It's a good idea to have an agreement in place with respect to titling, mortgage payments and liability, repairs and the like: it's best to get it in writing (and yes, I'd recommend getting a lawyer).
5. Look beyond paint. It's often the case that your dream house has that one room that you're already fantasizing about changing. Willmes says to remember that it's fairly inexpensive to fix cosmetic issues (a bit of paint or some wallpaper) but making changes to kitchens and baths can be expensive. She says, "People tend to focus on the cost of cabinets, appliances and counters but sometimes forget about the cost of labor which can double to triple the cost." That doesn't mean that you should give up on a house in need of a significant fix but you should factor in those costs when determining whether you can afford to buy.
6. Buy the house you know that you can afford. This can be different from the price that your mortgage company believes that you can afford. When my husband and I bought our first house, we were approved for a mortgage of about three times more than we ultimately ended up spending. Fresh out of law school and working for established firms, our finances looked good on paper. But we dialed back our expectations because we weren't convinced that our income and expenses would remain at those levels. We were right: two years later, we started our own business just as the economy turned south. The less expensive house meant that we could still make our payments even with less income in pocket. So what's the best ratio to use? Some lenders suggest that you can afford mortgage payments totaling about 1/3 of your gross income but others suggest closer to 28% for housing related costs including mortgage, insurance and taxes. There are a number of factors including your projected income, interest rates, type of mortgage and the market. Ask your mortgage broker to help you understand what's in play.
Your home inspection report may reveal major or minor issues. Major problems will likely need to be dealt with before your mortgage lender will finalize your loan, while minor issues can often wait till you take possession of the home.
A final walk-through is an opportunity to view the property before it becomes yours. This is your last chance to view the home, ask questions and address any outstanding issues before the house becomes your responsibility.
Buying a house can take as little as a few days if you're buying in cash, or can take years if you're counting the amount of time it takes you to save money for a down payment and decide where to live. In a competitive housing market, you may put in multiple offers on homes before one is accepted. Conversely, mounting worry over a housing recession could lead more sellers to pull their homes from the market, making it more difficult to find a suitable property. If you already have your money saved and have a good idea of the neighborhoods and type of home you want, the process will probably take you two to six months. Ask a local real estate agent for a more accurate timeline based on your local market conditions.
Buying a home is more like buying a used car than renting an apartment. You need to ask questions, look under the hood and take it for a spin. Turn on all the faucets. Flush the toilet. Blast the heat and see what happens.
There are multiple parties involved when getting a mortgage and buying a house. Your real estate agent is your representative in the home purchase transaction. Your agent will look out for your best interests by finding homes that meet your criteria, get you showings, help you write offers and negotiate.
Only you can decide which property is right for you. Make sure you see plenty of homes before you decide which one you want to make an offer on. Like much of the home buying process, you can do a great deal of your house hunting online.
Real Estate agents always discuss additional expenses to consider when buying a home. The article covers seven costs buyers often forget about. You should also have some savings to cover emergencies with the house.
To make sound decisions, you should know the pros and cons of a condo vs. a house. More buyers will end up disappointed when picking a condo because they do not understand the ramifications of how restrictive they can be or how quickly fees can change.
Understand you are not just buying a home but a location as well. One of the key considerations that many buyers miss when purchasing a home is knowing how to pick a neighborhood they will love. Often first-time buyers focus too much on the house and not enough on the area.
It is also advisable to find your inspector if you do not know your real estate agent well. The last thing you need is a real estate agent recommending you use their favorite home inspector because they are not that thorough.
If you plan on doing any repair work yourself, it is crucial that you know of asbestos and take proper precautions if it is present. For obvious reasons, understanding if there is asbestos is something to know before buying a home.
Buying a fixer-upper in an area that is growing more popular offers the possibility of an increase in the value of your home. In contrast, buying the nicest house in the neighborhood may not have much upside.
About the Author: The above Real Estate information on the 20 things to do before buying a house was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of Metrowest towns for the last 37+ Years.
As I learned more about real estate, and myself, I realized I prefer to buy a house that needs a little work. On my second house I took on a much more extensive renovations and was able to capture a lot more equity.
Insurance costs and needs vary wildly from state to state and area to area. Ask neighbors of the house you want to buy about approximate insurance costs and consult with an insurance agent to find out if you are in a listed flood or zone.
Many people successfully invest in rental property, but that does not mean it is easy money. Like any business, there are ways to increase your chances of success and reduce your risks. Here is what you need to know before buying rental property.
Buying a vacant lot is an important and complex decision, just like any real estate purchase. For starters, there are plenty of reasons to buy a parcel of land. If you buy a house, it's probably so you can live in it; but with land, you could choose to build your own house, use the property as a long-term investment or even to start a business. Property also introduces a host of issues you don't normally face when buying a house. There are all sorts of restrictions that could apply to a vacant lot; you might not be able to build a house on it at all.
Before shopping for a piece of land, you should develop a general idea of where you'd like to make a purchase. You can go for an exploratory drive and use online resources to help you. For example, if you're buying a few acres of land to build a house you'll likely want to consider things like access to schools, your job, grocery shopping and restaurants. (Later we'll delve into specific land concerns.)
Another potential cost to consider: a land survey. It's possible you won't need a survey done on land you're interested in buying. The land could have been recently surveyed, and with a little legwork you should be able to find out if and when a survey's been done. We'll get into surveying in-depth later, but keep in mind that you may need to hire a professional surveyor to chart out the boundaries of your property. Because surveys vary based on location and a host of other factors, it's hard to give a general estimate of how much one will cost. 041b061a72