A first time home purchase can be an overwhelming experience and Granite Equity Group can help make the process simple and fun. From mortgages to home searches and local school information, we can give you the tools you need to get on the road to home ownership.
One of the first steps to being a new home owner is to get your financial records in order and make sure your credit is in the best possible shape. Once pre-approved for a home loan that’s when the fun begins and you can start your home search in earnest.
Almost 80% of all home searches today begin on the Internet. Within seconds home buyers can be presented with hundreds of online listings, then view virtual tours, and sort through dozens of photographs and aerial shots of neighborhoods and homes. Because of the multitude of choices, it’s a very good idea to define your goals before you even begin.
How Long Should It Take?
In a “Seller’s Market” it can take a little more time because sellers are able to entertain several offers from multiple buyers. More patience is going to be required.
In a “Buyer’s Market” – which we are currently in – sellers are much more motivated and will sometimes accept the first good offer that’s presented. A buyer who is qualified and pre-approved has a tremendous amount of leverage in these market conditions. The sale and closing can happen very quickly.
One of the keys to maximizing your time is to work with a real estate agent who understands your needs and requirements and will only spend time showing you homes that fit within those parameters.
Make a List
Write out on a piece of paper your wish list of things your new home should feature. Then when you’re out looking at houses bring the list with you and make notes about which homes most closely match what you wrote down. You may find as you’re out looking at homes that you’ll want to add to your wish list based on what you’re seeing in different homes. Be flexible, but don’t veer from your most important features.
- Bring a digital camera so you can remember which homes you liked the best. Start with an outside shot and then follow with any interior features you especially liked.
- Make notes of unusual features, colors and design elements.
- What are the home’s surroundings? What is next door? What’s behind or in front of the home?
- How’s the location? What amenities are nearby? Where are the schools, parks & shopping? How’s the traffic?
- After leaving do a gut check. What was your first impression? How would you rate each house on a scale of 1-10?
Take a Second Look
After making your home tours you’ve probably seen a few that got you excited. Make a list of your top choices and make an appointment to go back and see them a second time. This is your chance to really scrutinize – and try to be as objective as possible. It’s okay to “fall in love”, but before making that offer make sure you’ve done an honest evaluation and analysis.
A good real estate agent will point out any defects or potential issues with the home. They should not be attempting to steer you in or out of any decision, but rather, make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision for yourself.