Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases that a person will make in life. It is also one of the hardest decisions to make with the available options for homes in a specific area. One of the items that are often forgotten about is jobs that require relocation or frequent travel. If this is the situation in your life, buying a home is likely not the answer. Below is a quick breakdown of the home buying 101 process to aid potential buyers in what to expect and items to be aware of.
Choosing the Area to Purchase In
First and foremost, you have to decide where it is that you want to live. It is ideal to research a community and drive through it at different times of the day and night. This will help you to see what goes on in the neighborhood and see if it is quiet and safe. You can contact a local police department for a crime report regarding a specific neighborhood as well.
Determining a Budget
The best way to determine a budget is to configure your total monthly net income. Compare this against utility expenses, cell phone bills, grocery expenses, vehicle payments and all other outgoing expenses. Do not count mortgage or rent payments in this. This will give you the amount of money left after all of these bills are paid. Decide how much you wish to put into savings each month and the balance is what you can afford to pay monthly for a mortgage. The payment including interest can be used to calculate the maximum price you can pay for a home.
Connecting with a Realtor
It is ideal to work with a realtor with a great reputation in the area. A realtor that works in a specific district or community knows the area well and has more input on the area and housing available. It is also important to work with a realtor that listens to your needs and shows you items that are within your must haves list, specified location and budget.
Placing an Offer
Your realtor can offer some advice when you prepare to place an offer on a home. Look at the comparable homes in the area from print outs provided by the realtor. Also consider the condition of the home and the number of other homes in the area. You want to place an offer that reflects all of these conditions. Also consider the amount of time that a home has been on the market. One that has been sitting for 120 days or more is likely to be able to be purchased for a lower price.
Take your time making a decision. This is one of the most important of your life. You will know what the right home is when you walk through the door. When you are able to picture yourself there with your family as you grow older, and it is something that feels familiar, that is the place to call home. Use some of the tips above to help make the process a little easier.
Photo Credit/Source: Wikimedia/Stephen Craven