Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’ve been around the block a few times with purchasing a home, there are some questions that people always ask throughout the process. Before fully diving into a search, one of the first questions to always emerge is...
How much can I afford?
For first time homebuyers, it’s really easy to pull a number out of the sky thinking that’s what you’ll be able to afford. Either that or you plug your figures into a website that spits the information right out to you. If you’re moving onto your second home or beyond, it is super important to re-evaluate your finances and the market to understand what will work for you this time around. Either way, before indulging in the full house-hunting experience, it is imperative that you speak with a lender. This conversation will provide insight on what you can actually afford given your finance, the market and real mortgage rates from an institution. You’ll get a pre-approval letter that will let the buyer know that you have done your due diligence and are able to come through at a closing. With that pre-approval letter on hand, you can jump on it whenever you find the right place.
Once you’ve become a full-fledged house hunter, inquiries about the condition of a home will follow your immediate interest. It’s important to get as thorough an understanding of the home that you could potentially be buying. These questions help to get a look at what’s beneath the surface and what your true costs of ownership could look like.
When was the roof last replaced?
Sewer or septic system?
Any issues with pests?
Has there been any foundation/structural issues?
When you’ve finally found that home that you love and that works for you, here are some important questions that come up in the bidding process:
How much should I offer?
This depends on a few things. First off, it depends on the characteristic of the listing. For example, if the home has been sitting on the market for a while, that may be a benefit that may account for a discount. This is certainly where your Realtor’s expertise will come into play. Collaboratively with your Realtor, asses the home and all aspects of the listing, and come up with a number that makes sense.
How do I know if I am getting a good deal?
This can be tough. If you love a home enough, it’s not about getting the best deal. Rather, it's about paying a price that you’re comfortable with for a place that you love! When you win the bid, you won’t even remember that extra few thousand that you paid when you’re waking up every morning to that kitchen of your dreams. With that being said, simply researching prices of similar homes in the area will certainly give you a ballpark range of what may make sense to pay.
When your offer is accepted by the seller, the excitement comes rushing! When can I move in?! The closing component of the home buying process may raise these questions for buyers.
What is the closing process?
What are closing costs?
How long does closing take?
Closing day! This is simply the final step in executing a real estate transaction. At the closing, ownership is officially transferred, and payment is exchanged. Closing costs are fees associated with and incurred during the real estate transaction. These fees vary from home inspection fees to title search fees, and realtor fees. These fees can be incurred by both buyer and seller and vary by state. Typical closings take 4 – 6 weeks which may feel like a lifetime when you’re eager to get into that new place!