Maribeth Marzeotti's Blog
Buying a home is an extensive process that comes with a bit of a learning curve. For first time buyers, this process involves making mistakes and learning from them.
While we can never be 100% sure of our home buying decisions, there is a way to increase your chances of making the best choices when it comes to buying and maintaining your first home.
In today’s post, we’re going to do just that. We’ll take a look at some of the biggest things that homeowners wish they knew before buying their first house.
1. Forgetting to research the neighborhood
It’s easy to become so enamored with your dream home that you barely look beyond its fence. However, the neighborhood your home is in can have a huge effect on your daily life. Having local parks, safe sidewalks to walk on, and road infrastructure that doesn’t drive you crazy on your daily commute are all important aspects of choosing the right home.
2. Getting pressured into making a decision
Many times, a seller will want to portray their home as being highly sought after to encourage higher and more frequent offers. Similarly, you may find that your own family has time constraints and want to make a quick decision to buy a home.
It’s when we’re under pressure that we can make choices that we aren’t happy with in the long run. So, in these situations, make sure you don’t make any snap judgments on a home. If it seems like you’re being pressured into making a decision without enough time to consider all of the possibilities, there’s a good chance you should pass on this opportunity.
3. Forgetting that you might someday have to sell this home
Sometimes homes can be difficult to sell due to things like their location and surroundings. For instance, a home that is remote or one that is located in low-scoring school districts may not matter to you if you don’t plan on having children. But, they likely will be important to a lot of your potential buyers when it comes time to sell the home.
This lesson also holds true for what you do with your home once you buy it. Making renovations or design choices that won’t appeal to the average buyer can make your home more difficult to sell and harder to get top dollar for.
4. Didn’t consider all financing options
There are several steps and several options when it comes to financing a home. Not only are the several mortgage lenders to choose from, but there are also many different types of loans available.
While there may not be one “right” decision when it comes to financing your home, it’s a good idea to do your homework and browse carefully all of the lenders and mortgage types.
Consider ways to increase your credit score or save for a higher down payment before buying if possible, so that you can secure the lowest interest rate possible.
A showing enables a buyer to walk through a residence and envision what life may be like if he or she purchases it. And if a buyer crafts a home showing strategy, he or she can make the most of this opportunity.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you plan ahead for a house showing.
1. Review the Home Listing
A home listing may include details about a house, as well as images that depict different areas of a residence. It also may feature information about various attractions and landmarks near a house.
By reviewing a listing prior to a showing, you can double-check to ensure a home falls in line with your homebuying goals. Plus, you can use a listing to understand what you may see during a showing and establish realistic expectations for a residence.
2. Make a List of Questions
There is no reason to enter a showing without a list of questions about a residence. Because if you attend a showing without questions in hand, you risk missing out on valuable insights about a house that otherwise could help you determine if a home is right for you.
As you create a list of home showing questions, consider what you want to know about a house that you were unable to learn from the residence's listing. For instance, you may want to ask why a seller has decided to list his or her house. Or, you can craft questions about utility expenses and other home costs so you can get the information you need to analyze a house.
3. Prepare Your Home Showing Essentials
A home showing is a learning experience unlike any other, so it often helps to put together a bag of must-have items for the event.
For example, you may want to bring a pen and paper so you can take notes during a house showing. Meanwhile, some buyers carry a camera with them so they can capture photos of a house and review them after a showing.
As you prepare to attend a home showing, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can take the guesswork out of planning for a showing and help you gain the insights you need to assess all aspects of a residence.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a buyer prior to a showing and offer insights into a house. A real estate agent and buyer then will attend a showing together and walk through a house. After a showing is complete, a real estate agent and buyer next will discuss the house and weigh its advantages and disadvantages. At this point, if a buyer wants to submit an offer to purchase a particular home, a real estate agent will help him or her craft a competitive homebuying proposal.
Want to maximize the value of a house showing? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead for any home showing, at any time.
Although you might already own a house, now may prove to be a good time to pursue a second residence. For example, if you have always wanted to own a home in the mountains, you can purchase a second residence to make your dream come true. On the other hand, if you want to own a vacation residence on or near the beach, you could enter the housing market to find a beachfront house that suits you perfectly.
Like any home search, finding a second house that matches your expectations may be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to streamline your quest to find a second home, such as:
1. Evaluate Your Finances
Your finances will play a significant role in your ability to purchase any house, at any time. As you get set to pursue a second home, examine your finances closely. Then, you can map out your home search accordingly.
Generally, it helps to consult with banks and credit unions before you launch the search. If you meet with these institutions, you can gain financial insights that you can use to make an informed purchase.
2. Establish Home Buying Criteria
Think about the features you want to find in a second residence. Next, you can craft home buying criteria.
Once you have home buying criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search, too. By honing your home search to residences in specific cities and towns, you can speed up your quest to find the right home at the right price.
It often helps to maintain flexibility as you conduct a search for a second home as well. If necessary, you can modify your home buying criteria throughout the home buying journey.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
There is no reason to enter the housing market on your own. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts can help you quickly and effortlessly acquire a second residence.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to navigate the home buying journey. This housing market professional first will learn about you and your home buying goals. He or she next will craft a custom home buying strategy based on your individual needs. Finally, a real estate agent will put this strategy into action and ensure you can discover a terrific home at an affordable price.
Furthermore, a real estate agent takes the guesswork out of buying a second home. If you are unsure about whether to submit an offer to purchase a particular residence, a real estate agent can offer a data-driven recommendation. Or, if you have concerns or questions at any point during the home buying journey, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to them.
If you want to pursue a second house, it helps to plan ahead for the home buying journey. By using these tips, you should have no trouble finding a second home that you can enjoy for years to come.
Contingencies on a contract to buy a home are there to protect both the buyer and the seller. The contingencies give the buyer the right to back out of the contract if any of these contingencies aren’t met. There are many reasons that buyers back out of deals including financial issues and problems with the home. Below, you’ll find a break down of some of the most common contingencies and what they mean for you as a buyer or a seller.
Most home contracts come with what’s called a financing contingency. This gives you the ability to walk away from a deal if the financing falls through when trying to buy a home. Usually this is due to a credit reason or some other financial reason. You can’t rely on financial cracks to help you to back out of a deal on a home. Lenders will only deny a loan for real financial reasons. There’s no way to ask a lender to lie for you so you can get out of buying a home! This is why you need to make your decision about a home purchase wisely.
This gives the buyer the right to have an inspection on the home within a certain time frame which is usually 5-7 days. If something is really off with the inspection that you as a buyer don’t feel comfortable with, you have the right to back out of a deal without repercussions. While seller disclosures are important, the seller can’t disclose what they don’t know about. That’s why the home inspection is so important. The seller’s disclosure cannot protect you from hidden damages that may cost half of a home’s worth to repair.
If homes are selling fast and you want some secure way to back out of a deal you should consider an appraisal contingency. If the home you want to purchase doesn’t appraise at a price high enough to meet your mortgage requirements, you have a legal way to back out of the deal. For example, if you put down 20 percent of the purchase price of a home and the home doesn't appraise for the value of that purchase price, you’d need to come up with the remainder of the money in cash. An appraisal contingency protects you from having to face this. You’ll still need to have a home inspection done on the home to search for any problems, but an appraisal contingency protects you from any problems with financing and your own disposable amount of cash that could arise due to a home appraising low.
While contingencies aren’t necessary as a homebuyer, they’re highly recommended. Without contingencies, you could be left with a number of expenses such as damages that are extremely costly to fix.
Buying a house may prove to be a long, complex journey, especially for a first-time homebuyer who decides to pursue a residence on his or her own. Fortunately, many real estate agents are available to help first-time homebuyers make their homeownership dreams come true.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that first-time homebuyers can use to find the right real estate agent in any housing market, at any time.
1. Go Beyond a Web Search
In many instances, it is easy to conduct a web search of real estate agents in a city or town. However, a diligent first-time homebuyer will know to look beyond a simple web search to discover the ideal real estate agent.
Take a look at a real estate agent's website. By doing so, a homebuyer can learn about a real estate agent's industry accomplishments and experience.
Also, don't hesitate to contact a real estate agent's office directly. This enables a homebuyer to have a brief conversation with a real estate agent and find out exactly what this housing market professional is all about.
2. Host a Face-to-Face Meeting
A face-to-face meeting may prove to be exceedingly valuable for both a first-time homebuyer and a real estate agent, and for good reason.
During a face-to-face meeting, a homebuyer can ask questions and learn about a real estate agent's industry expertise. Plus, a homebuyer can receive comprehensive insights into what it will take to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.
Meanwhile, a face-to-face meeting helps a real estate agent learn about a homebuyer's goals. A homebuyer can provide information about what he or she wants in a dream home, and a real estate agent can offer details about what a homebuyer should expect at each stage of the property buying journey.
3. Receive Client Referrals
Although a first-time homebuyer may feel comfortable with hiring a real estate agent after a face-to-face meeting, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Thus, a homebuyer who requests client referrals from a real estate agent ensures that he or she can make the best possible decision.
A real estate agent should have no trouble providing you with multiple client referrals. Then, you can reach out to this housing professional's past clients to find out how he or she has helped homebuyers achieve their desired results.
Spend some time reaching out to a real estate agent's past clients – you'll be happy you did. With additional client insights at your disposal, you can improve your chances of choosing the perfect real estate agent.
Lastly, it is important to remember that a real estate agent should be available to guide you along the homebuying journey. This housing market professional boasts in-depth industry experience, and as such, can share deep insights to help you make informed decisions as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can employ a first-rate real estate agent and gain unparalleled support throughout the homebuying cycle.