8 Tips for Buying a Home in 2015
POSTED IN ADVICE ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2015
Buying a home can be a daunting process. These simple tips can help.
- Save for the down payment.
Save for the down payment ahead of time. The down payment will typically be 20% of the purchase price, however, the actual amount depends on the loan. Veridian offers low or no down payment options, or other programs with 3% down. If you are being gifted the money for the down payment, remember that there are restrictions on the amount that can be given before the giver is taxed. Contact one of our Mortgage Loan Originators to discuss loan options or ask any questions about gift tax.
- Get pre-approved.
Remember: there is a difference between getting pre-qualified and getting pre-approved. Anybody can get pre-qualified, but getting pre-approved means that a lender has already looked at your financial information and has let you know how much they will lend you. If you're ready to get pre-approved, start an application with Veridian today.
- Run your numbers...then keep your money where it is!
Determine your budget, and then keep it that way. Don't just focus on the mortgage payment, but also expenses such as property tax, utilities, homeowner-association dues, homeowner's insurance, and any necessary repairs that you may not have had to include when you were renting. Don't make any huge purchases, apply for any loans, or undergo too many credit checks for 3 - 6 months before you buy. Lenders want to see a paper trail showing your reliability and responsibility.
- Find a real estate agent.
Although you aren't required to have a real estate agent, they can be helpful to have with you, especially if you're a first-time buyer. Agents have current and up-to-date knowledge about laws, regulations, and best practices when it comes to real estate and negotiating. They can help you see beyond square footage and paint when browsing homes, and share concerns that you might not have otherwise considered, such as piping, plumbing, heating, and cooling materials.
- Do your loan research.
Be sure to check out any processing fees, origination fees, or any other costs associated with a loan before you sign. Know what you signing for.
- Stake out the neighborhood.
Too often, people will buy the perfect home, only to discover that it is not in the ideal location. Stake out the neighborhood before you buy to get a feel for the land, the neighbors, the surrounding businesses, and the street traffic. Take any nearby schools into consideration, even if you don't have kids. School rating can be a huge factor if and when it comes time to sell.
- Hire a home inspector.
The (approximately) $300 you spend to hire a home inspector could end up saving you thousands. The home inspector will provide you with information about the house that may determine whether or not you decide to buy.
- Plan your negotiating.
Your offer should be a balance between what you can afford, and what you think the house is worth. You want the lowest price you can get, but be fair and reasonable, and avoid offending the seller.