There is no feeling more exciting than finally deciding to buy a home. Like with any big life decision, there are many things to keep in mind before taking that plunge. A lot of people don't take into account some essential steps in the home-buying process, which results in a lot of unexpected (and unnecessary!) headaches. Besides the ages-old advice of saving up for your down payment, and getting that mortgage pre-approval, here are 5 essential tips to help you achieve home-buying success.
1. Know your worth.
Before buying a home, make sure you find out how much mortgage you qualify for. In order to calculate your mortgage, banks will look at things like how long you've been at your current job, how much debt you have, and every bruise in your financial past (including late payments on your bills).
If you think your bank might give you a hard time because of that strict criteria, don't panic! Here at Benson Mortgages we will work with you to paint an accurate picture of your financial situation and make sure you get the best rate for your home. So, if you think you'll have a difficult time getting approved by a bank because of your financial past, talk to us and we will find you the most flexible option to fit your needs.
2. Specify what you want vs. what you need.
Decide what features in your dream house are necessities and which ones would be nice things you can add on your own. Your priorities should specify things like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, commute times to work, and the location of schools and businesses in your area.
3. Set up a home inspection.
Before you make an offer, get an early home inspection to make sure you won't find any surprises down the road. A home inspector can give you some essential information that you can't get at a first glance. They will tell you what kind of house it is, its resale potential, its square footage and how well everything works. Talk to friends, family and your real estate agent and ask them to recommend a reliable and trustworthy inspector for your dream home.
4. Work with people who specialize in the area you're interested in.
Most people settle for realtors and lenders who were recommended by someone they know. But by using a realtor who knows the local market trends, you're making the most informed decision. They can help you save a lot of money, and wrong decision-making, when buying a house. To ensure that you're working with the best realtor in your area, talk to your mortgage loan officer. They're sure to have a number of trusted realtors to refer you to!
5. Be prepared for all the extra costs.
Don't just take into account the cost of your house; there are many other fees and payments you'll have to add to your calculations. These extra costs include home insurance, the inspection, moving and storing costs, just to name a few. Some other costs you should be thinking about include utilities and upgrades, which can add up to shocking amounts if you don't do some savvy pre-planning.
There you have it! Now you're that much closer to being ready to buy your home. Here at Benson Mortgages we have built great relationships with realtors, home inspectors, attorneys and home renovation specialists. We can guide you through the home-buying process and ensure that it's smooth sailing from beginning to end. Give us a call today to book an appointment with one of our experts!