Buy What You Need
Determine what you're looking for in a home. Often times, buyers get swept up in the emotion and excitement of the buying process and purchase the wrong home. Take the time upfront to clearly define your wants and needs. Put it in writing and measure every home you look at with it.
Do a Thorough Inspection
Don’t expect that the seller to confess all the problems with the home. You need to be inquisitive and investigate for yourself to be sure that the home really is a good buy and that you are getting a good deal. Be sure to conduct proper home inspections early on, so that any problems that are detected can be solved prior to closing. You may consider hiring an inspector to examine the home. Make sure you make the contract contingent upon approval from the inspector.
Try to get Pre-Approved
A pre-approved mortgage can be easily obtained and saves you time and energy when placing an offer. With a pre-approved mortgage, you can shop with freedom, confidence and security because you know the money will be there to purchase the home you choose.
Check the Title
Before you put any offers, make sure that the house will be yours free and clear. Often times there are tax liens, easements, undisclosed owners or other circumstances which could cause major issues in the purchasing of your home. Be sure that you're making the right decision.
Think About the Hidden Costs
Be aware of all the fees you may incur in closing the home so that you know exactly what you will be paying. Having unexpected expenses when moving is something you’ll want to avoid. Sit down with your Realtor® if need be and ask them what you should be considering. This way you will know what to expect and will be prepared.
Do Your Research
Be sure to research the market and the neighborhood so that you have a good understanding of what you should be paying for your new home. This way you can determine how to bid on a home and when you’re getting a good deal. If you fail to research the market, making your offer would be like bidding blind. Without knowledge of the market, you could easily make a bad bid.
Take Your Time on Closing
People can get excited when closing and may rush through the paperwork. Don’t make this mistake. Take your time and review everything before signing it. Make sure that all the conditions in the contract have been fulfilled and that there is nothing outstanding. Make sure the documentation reflects the transaction, and that nothing has been added or subtracted.
Property Surveys are a Must
As part of your purchase offer, you should add a property survey. This will help you determine where your property begins and ends and will help you determine how to use it. Current surveys should show all structural changes to the home.
Consider Breach of Contract
Always take into consideration the “what if” case. It is always possible for the other party to fail to fulfill the contract fully or to attempt to change some of the terms. When drafting the contract always agree ahead of time on a dollar amount to cover the items specified in case the seller fails to comply. In this case, you can get the cash from the seller and complete whatever is needed to be done.
Visit After Signing
Have a clause added to your contract that allows you a couple of visits to the home before your closing. Many owners begin neglecting the home once they know it is sold. By visiting before closing, you can identify this and put a stop to it.