ready to find your perfect property?
One of the most important Buyer Tips:
Watch interest rates!! Currently, interest rates remain at historic lows!!
We like to look at the Market Watch site in the morning to see what's happening. For buyers looking to become owner-occupants, rates are still very low, but they ARE ticking upwards in 2017. For investors looking to purchase an investment property (NON-owner-occupant) expect interest rates to be slightly higher. Also important in 2017 is considering things like refinancing adjustable rate mortgages if your current mortgage rate is at least one full point higher than the current rate, as you could be saving money each month. If you are thinking about selling, take advantage now of the stable prices and interested buyers. Once rates rise, some buyers will leave the market again.
Buying property is likely to be a person's greatest purchase in life. It's huge, and the investment (and payments) can last 30 years and often long after. It's HUGELY important to go through the process with open eyes and know all the risks. Ask friends and family who own their own property for their top buying tips. Use the expertise of an experienced, licensed Real Estate professional.
Never bite off more than you can chew. Lenders like to see that you have about 6 months worth of mortgage payments in the bank. Cash on hand means that you are financially stable, and you will be rewarded by a lower mortgage interest rate too! While conventional mortgages are most widely accepted by sellers, it IS possible to buy a property with an FHA or VA loan. However, both can be problematic. It's best to work with an experienced Realtor AND an experienced lender, to help keep you from falling into any unforeseen pitfalls.
Ready to Buy?
Recommended Buyer Tips
to ensure your success:
1) Secure a Mortgage, get pre-qualified
2) Find a great Realtor
3) Find the best properties
4) Gather the Facts
Secure a Mortgage, get pre-qualified
Big buyer tip... get pre-qualified before you start going out looking at homes. You'll know the amount you can spend, the best Realtors will want to work with you because they'll take you more seriously. And any offers you make on a property will hold substantially more weight with a prequalification letter than others who haven't even started the process yet. Once you get it? THEN start searching! Know what financing you'll be able to get, how much the bank says you can afford... and how much you'll need for a down payment. For conventional loans, you could be required to pay up to 20% down. For FHA through Homepath... your down payment could be as little as 3% down. Once you KNOW... your search will uncover the perfect property for you! Mortgages
Find a great Realtor
Best buyer tips are free... and so is hiring an experienced Real Estate Agent to help you! IT'S FREE, WHY NOT!
Buyers don't pay for their agent's services!! They get paid by the SELLER. Realtors who are experienced will know how to search, negotiate, and help you through each important step (contract, appraisal, inspection, closing) to ensure its success. Navigating the process can be time consuming and lead to a catastrophic financial decision. To learn more about how to select the RIGHT Realtor for you: Pick the Right Realtor for You!
Find the best properties, develop a list of favorites
Find the best properties by starting with your real estate agent.
They have access to all the listings including many you won't find online.
What's your wish list?
- House, townhouse, condo
- Number of bedrooms
- Garage? Pool? Fenced backyard?
- Favorite areas, neighborhoods, communities
- Price range
- Other wish list items
Develop a list or spreadsheet with all the properties you become interested in. Note the price, details, how long it's been on the market. Look at online photos, decide if you want to see it. If yes, ask your real estate agent to set up the showing(s) of your top picks. Have a set of questions with you when you go to the showings. Keep this list updated, marking when you see a property and your opinion of it. If you end up seeing lots of properties, without a good detailed list, they will all meld together and you'll forget the important details!
Do your due diligence, gather ALL the facts
Make sure you and your real estate agent independently research the
market value for each property you really like BEFORE you submit an offer. A market report will show all of the recent sales in that area,
what other properties are currently asking, will show recent foreclosures and
short sales. These reports will give you an excellent indication of what the
official appraisal will come back as. Make sure the property is not in a pre-foreclosure state, and check to see if you can find any open permits, liens, civil litigation involving the property that could cause issues in the future. If the property is located in a condo association, call the manager and try to find out if it there are any issues that would prohibit your mortgage lender from approving the sale (lawsuits, not enough reserves, percentage of developer ownership, percentage of rentals versus owner-occupied properties).