Take Charge When Buying a Home
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when purchasing a home, but if you start out in control and knowledgeable, you’ll be more likely to find buying a home a smooth and straightforward process. Take charge of the process before you even start house-hunting and you’ll be more satisfied with the results when you hold the key to your new home in your hand.
Before you officially begin the home-buying process, learn as much as you can. Read blogs from realtors and mortgage lenders, set up alerts for news on the housing market and take a home-buyer’s course or attend a seminar.
In this case, the more information you have, the better. Make sure you understand what you’re reading or hearing or you’ll end up confused.
Meet with a lender or real estate agent before you get started with the home search. Have them tell you about their part in the home-buying process and ask them questions. Find out what to expect with each step so you aren’t blindsided later on.
Here are some aspects of purchasing a home you should understand:
- The market in your area
- Average price of homes in your target area and average size
- Current interest rates and available loan products
- The basic loan process
- Basic information about home inspections and appraisals
Having basic knowledge about the various aspects of buying a home will give you added confidence. You’ll be better prepared for each stage and know which questions to ask.
Know the Right Answers
Before you begin your home search, make sure you know the answers to several important questions.
- Do you have a down payment or will you be able to get one?
- How much can you afford?
- Where will you get a loan?
- Will you work with a real estate agent and if so, who?
You may not know all of these answers in the beginning, but you should do your research until you do know the answers. For example, you can compare lenders and real estate agents and get recommendations from friends to help you select the right person. Once you answer these questions, you will be ready to take the next step.
Remember that buying a home is your responsibility. While lenders and real estate agents are there to help you, ultimately you are responsible for having the right information and making the decisions. At the same time, you matter in the process. What you think and feel is the most important part of buying a home. Don’t let other people push you into the wrong decision or force you into bad choices.
Part of being responsible is asking questions when you don’t understand something. With all of the technical language, you may not understand the meaning behind some of these words. However, you should ask for explanations anytime you don’t know what’s going on or need clarification.
Buying a Home Takes Relationships
Through the home-buying process, you rely on relationships to reach your final goal. You develop a relationship with your lender and your agent. You may have known them as friends or they may be strangers to you. During this time, you will get to know each other as you communicate.
Make sure the lender and agent you choose are people you can get along with. Your personalities should mesh and they must be good at communicating with you and treating you like the important person you are.
While you don’t want to select a person just because you know them on a personal level, you do want to like them and like working with them. Your agent should “get you” when it comes to what you’re looking for in a home. Your lender should understand your unique situation when it comes to financing.
You may discover after you’ve chosen these people that you don’t get along or you don’t feel comfortable working with them. At any time, you can switch to a new lender or agent. Of course, this may set you back a little in your buying process, but it’s better than wasting time or dealing with the challenges of selecting the wrong person.
Don’t stand on the sidelines when you’re buying a home. Get involved, become knowledgeable, and take charge. Make your opinions, feelings and concerns known and ask questions when you don’t understand something. When you take control of this process, you end up with a home that meets your needs and fits your personality. A home you can be happy with for today and the future.