Most homebuyers do little or no research before they set out to purchase their first home. Doesn’t it make sense to become as completely informed as possible before you buy? The emotions of purchasing something so expensive and personal can often cloud our judgment. Let’s make it easier…..
1. Inspect EVERYTHING. Go over the inspection report very carefully. Make sure the report was done by a professional organization. For condo purchases, go over the CC&R’s, By-Laws, and Association Fees. Don’t take anything for granted… inspect everything!
2. Imagine the Property Empty. Your furnishings special touches will be the ones filling this new home. Don’t be fooled by beautiful furniture the current owner has in place. Remember that leaves with them.
3. Is this doable? Sit down with your professional real estate agent and honestly discuss your buying power which is your income level and living expenses. Take into account future considerations such as children, add-ons, amenities, and fix-ups. Your dream home is certainly worth a sacrifice but don’t mortgage your entire future.
4. Shop around but don’t stifle yourself. It is good to see at least 3-5 properties, but if you see the one that’s perfect for you, I say….GO FOR IT! Many consumers find the perfect house for them but feel that they didn’t see enough so they keep shopping and decide on the very first one they saw and it’s GONE. Don’t move too slowly. When you find the right property you will know.
5. Be very thorough. Check out all costs and expenses before you sign: utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance and home owner dues if applicable. Make sure all utilities (gas, electricity, and water) are on during your walk-through so you can inspect everything in working order. Ask a lot of questions and be very detail conscious.
6. Do a Final Walk-Through. Visit the property after all furnishings have been moved out to be sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely positive the property was left exactly as you had agreed upon in the contract. Things that could have been spotted in a final walk-through are often unintentionally overlooked.
7. Plan for Flexibility. Closing dates are not written in stone. Allow for contingencies and have a back-up plan. If you or the sellers need a little more time to conclude the final arrangements, don’t let these delays upset or frustrate you. These types of circumstances are very common in a real estate transaction.
8. Get it in writing or it doesn’t exist. All promises and discussions should be in writing. Don’t make any assumptions or believe any assurances given to you. Even the best intentions can be misinterpreted. Have your professional keep an ongoing log in writing of all discussions and get the seller’s written approval on all agreements.