When you’re planning to purchase your first home, there are usually a lot of things on your mind. We can help you sort through your priorities and bring order to your home search. Here’s how.
Priority One – Finances
There’s nothing worse than floating into a furniture store to see the couch in the window that would be just perfect for your living room, only to find that it costs ten times what you’d planned to spend. And, the same is true of houses.
Your first priority is to get pre-approved by a lender. Doing that before you even look at homes has two benefits. First, you’ll know how much house you can afford and can manage your home search accordingly. Second, it will give you strength during the negotiating process.
Home sellers are very interested in all aspects of an offer on their homes. Naturally, they do care about the amount of your offer, but they’re also concerned about your ability to “close the deal.” All other things being equal, a person who makes an offer with no assurance of being able to get a loan in a timely fashion will be beaten every time by a person who has their finances in order and can prove it!
Priority Two – Your Wish List
We’ll work with you to make sure you’ve clearly defined what you want in your first home. We’ll identify the things you must have and those things that you could compromise on. There is no such thing as a perfect home. Typically, there are always compromises to be made.
This can be especially true when you’re buying your first home. Your dreams may add up to a $500,000 home when your budget is much less than that. Making sure you’re clear on your wish list will help you to choose your first home without a lot of worry and indecision.
Priority Three – Learn the Market
While we’re looking at neighborhoods and homes, you’ll start to get a feel for what type of a home fits your wish list and your budget. Once you find a home you’d like to make an offer on, the real education starts.
We’ll walk you through the process of writing a contract. We’ll look at “comps” or “comparables”, which are other homes in the area that have already sold. We’ll compare features of the comp homes against the home you want to put under contract and decide on what we see as a true market value number.
Then, the negotiations begin. Our expertise will be invaluable to you at this stage. Buying and selling homes is usually causes a fair amount of stress for people on both sides of the table. As an experienced third party, we can be sure that you don’t pay too much or walk away from a good deal.
Priority Four – Confirm Your Choice
At this point, we’ve got a signed contract. But, the process is far from over. Your next challenge is to confirm that you’ve made the right choice. There are several factors to consider.
The Inspection – We will schedule a time for an inspection of the home under contract. The inspector will evaluate every aspect of the home. If problems are uncovered, we’ll work together to identify a strategy for dealing with them.
The Appraisal – Your lender must agree that the home is worth the amount of your offer. An independent appraiser will evaluate your home’s value and report on an appraised value. If that value is higher than your offer, you just made instant money. If the appraised value is lower than your offer, it’s not necessarily a game breaker. There are things we can work out with the seller to avoid a problem that would crush your offer.
Finally – The Closing!
Once all the evaluations are over and you’re ready to purchase the home, we’ll be there to make sure that everyone involved in the closing process does their job in a timely manner. When everything is said and done, we’ll welcome you to your new home!
Given our local expertise, we can help you find the best lender, an honest inspector and any other professional service people you need, even after the sale.
Ready to start the journey? Call us at 954-242-8030 or send an email. We’ll be with you all the way!