Buying a home is one of the biggest and most expensive life decisions that most people will make! So much so that it is not an investment to be entered into lightly. Unfortunately, most first time buyers end up "winging it" and figuring it out as they go through their first purchase. While this is one way to do it, we believe that the best decisions are made when a buyer is fully informed.
At Sound Properties, we take the time to educate our clients and ensure that they are fully comfortable with the home-buying process. We have been through countless transactions with both first-time buyers and experienced real estate investors. Here is some of our best advice for anyone considering their first home purchase:
1. Get yourself familiar with the complicated process of home buying. There are a lot of moving parts to keep in order and the more educated you are, the less confusing it will seem when you are in the midst of a sale.
2. Create a high-level road map of your real estate plan. Write down the goals you'd like to accomplish with your real estate investments, the steps it will take to get there and a rough timeline of how long it will take to happen. It is also a good idea to include an investigation into neighborhoods, loan programs and various housing options in your desired area.
3. Build a winning team of experts to guide you through the process. As a first time buyer, it is wise to vet and hire experts who will advocate on your behalf. Take the time to interview experienced realtors, loan officers and attorneys. Just because you have a friend who is a licensed real estate agent doesn't necessarily mean they are equipped to advise you in your biggest financial decision to date.
4. Explore housing options beyond the single-family home. While many of us hold the notion of living in a single family home near and dear to our hearts, its not the only option! With the market the way it is today, it is worthwhile to consider other housing types like a condo townhouse or multi-family property. There are significant differences in lifestyle and you may miss out on a great opportunity if you pass it up.
5. Know your finances in order to set yourself up for success and avoid unnecessary stress when you purchase a home. It is not uncommon for people, especially first time buyers, to stretch beyond their financial means in order to purchase a home. Even though you may get pre-approved for a high loan amount, that doesn't mean that you need to max out that amount.
6. Scrutinize the true value of the home and don't get distracted by shiny objects. Real estate is all about location but it is just as important to get good value for your dollar. Analyze the things in a home that aren't easy to change such as square footage, the size of the plot and the surrounding neighborhood. Try to not focus on things like stainless steel appliances and granite countertops - these things are easily changed. Also, be sure to take a good look at the roof, electrical and plumbing. This is where your money will actually be going.
Remember that you are in control of the buying process! It can be easy to get carried away in the drama of a hot market, but you can be aggressive and proactive and maintain control of the situation. You are your best advocate and are accountable for the decisions you make. Be sure to do your research so you can be prepared for any situation. Finally, have an excellent team behind you to support you!
We'd love to work with you if you are looking to purchase a home in 2018! Contact Sound Properties today at any of the numbers listed below.