Buying a home is exciting, it can also be challenging and overwhelming. There are so many steps to take and things to do. If you aren’t familiar with the buying process, here are five things that you need to check and confirm before making an offer and buying a house.
1. Check your credit
The first thing that you should check is your credit. Buying a house is a good investment and it’s also one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make in your life.
You’ll need to have a credit score of 620 or above if you want to get approved for a conventional loan. Any lower and you might have a hard time getting approval from lenders.
To build a good credit score, you need to pay your bills and credit cards on time, among other things.
2. Know the financing options available
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is looking at properties before they get pre-approved for loans. So before you dive deeper into checking out homes, make sure that you know the financing options available.
Consider the following when thinking about how you’re going to finance your property purchase:
- How am I going to pay for the property?
- What type of loan would suit my situation best?
- What homebuyer programs are available in my area?
- Do I qualify for grants?
Note that most sellers won’t consider offers from buyers who don’t have a letter of approval from a lender. The good thing is that there are homebuying programs available nationwide to help you pay for a home. These government programs provide assistance to reduce the overall burden of buying your first property.
3. Decide on what house you want to get
After you’ve secured your finances, decide on what type of house you want to get. List your preferences, and most importantly, the size of the house.
Ask yourself or your spouse if you prefer a single story or a two-storey. How big do you want your backyard? Do you need a two-car garage? Should the property have a basement?
You can easily get overwhelmed once you go house hunting.
Model homes can easily influence you if you don’t know what you’re looking for. it’s better to have an idea in mind instead as you’re going to be more in control of your budget that way.
4. Check the neighborhood
Always check the location of the property. This will also ensure that you’ll make a great deal over the home appreciation over time as the value of the property increases.
Ensure that the house you’re going to buy is situated in key areas like the local market, school for your kids, and other necessities like transportation areas.
You can always hire professionals who can help you look for your ideal home in your ideal location.
Technology today allows us to view homes virtually, so there’s no reason you can’t check the neighborhood even if you have yet to physically visit the place.
5. Check the foundation of the home
A home property inspection may be an additional cost for buyers, but it’s well worth the spend. Once you’ve zeroed in on a property, get a home inspection to uncover defects.
A typical home inspection will cover structural issues. A structural problem is not just costly to fix but hazardous when not corrected. Some inspection reports may list minor problems, so pay attention only to the severe ones. Your agent can discuss these issues and, depending on your motivation to buy the home, use the report as leverage to negotiate a price.
6. Research the area
As a rule of thumb, you should always hire a home inspector, even after you’ve checked the property yourself. Go online and check out the area’s for vital information like earthquakes, flooding, and its safety rating.
Check what hospitals as well as restaurants are nearby.
7. Test everything
Check if the outliers are working. Bring a cellphone charger and test every outlet if you must.
Also, look at the plumbing. Take the time to look behind toilets or sinks for signs of water damage. There are areas in a house that are more susceptible to leaks than others so keep an eye out for those areas.
Flush toilets, flip switches, and test outlets. Once you find a house that’s a real contender, you should make sure that everything is working as they should.
Take your time (but don’t take too long deciding)
Finding your first home can be overwhelming. When you find yourself in this position, take a moment. Go through your options and run them through this list. Patience is key to finding the right property at the right price. At the same time, you don’t want to wait too long because another buyer could be bidding on the same home.