Every home has its unexpected surprises. Be prepared for them. These are a few fundamentals to keep in mind when buying a new home.
Have enough money
Although you’ve saved enough money for the down payment, that still might not be enough to get you into the home. There are also closing costs. Before you make an offer on a property, get a good idea from your lender on what the closing costs are going to be. Ask for their good faith estimate. They’re required to give it to you by law. If the loan to equity ratio is sufficient, you might even be able to roll your closing costs into your mortgage.
Reputable and experienced real estate agents are worth their weight in gold. They’ll deal with most of the headaches. You need only make decisions, and the advice of an experienced realtor will guide you to the right decision. The same advice goes for an attorney.
Rarely are there no wrinkles at closings. An experienced attorney has dealt with them many times before. At closing they might address issues you never dreamed of that could arise in the future. You’ll be glad you retained a good attorney.
Get a home inspection
Every standard contract for the purchase/sale of a home has a provision for a home inspection. You’ll want an inspection. A bad roof can costs thousands however,will help you. There can be electrical or plumbing issues that violate the building code. The home inspector will list insignificant issues too. That’s part of their job. Don’t let these bother you. The significant home inspection defects are sellers’ problems to repair or compensate you for anyway.
If you can only afford the smallest home in a great neighborhood, you might want to buy it. The views will be terrific, and the school systems will most likely be better than many others.
Drive through the neighborhood at different times of the day. Are there kids out in the yards? Are residents out walking? Are the properties and landscaping neatly maintained? You’re probably in a place that you’ll like and won’t regret being in.
Have another home lined up
It’s not at all unusual to have something bad happen with the home you want. You might not be able to come to terms with seller. There may be inspection, title or other issues. An experienced agent has seen deals broken before. If you really want or need to get into a new home, make sure that you have your second choice lined up and ready to make an offer on.
Look for a buyers’ transfer tax
These can hurt. Transfer taxes are ordinarily the responsibility of the seller, but some municipalities also have a buyers’ transfer tax that can cost thousands. Before you make an offer on a home, inquire with the municipality as to whether there’s a local transfer tax that buyers must pay. That can be an important factor with closing costs.
The curb appeal factor
Assess how much outside maintenance the house requires. They all require periodic painting, but how much? Is it wood sided? Brick is easier to maintain. How much yard maintenance is required? Extensive landscaping requires extensive time or money. Are you going to need a riding mower?
As you can see, getting into a new home might require overcoming the unexpected. You’ll be happy you had the right people around you.