Top 9 Tips when Buying a Home

Buying a home can be an exciting time. It can also be stressful and confusing, especially if it’s your first time. We’ve compiled a list of the top 9 home buying tips to think through as you start the process. Following these tips will help lower stress and prepare you for what’s ahead. So take a few deep breaths, read on, and get excited!

1. Build and maintain your credit

Your credit score is one of the main things lenders look at when deciding if they should lend to you. Try to get any debt that you have paid down and be sure you are making all of your payments on time.

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2. Save for a down payment

If you want to keep your monthly mortgage payment low you’ll need a down payment for the house you purchase. Having money to put down upfront also shows sellers that you’re serious and prepared to buy a home, lowering the likelihood of the deal falling through. If you’re able to, 20% will prevent you from needing Private Mortgage Insurance, but you’re able to put down whatever amount you feel comfortable with.

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3. Get Pre-Approved for a home loan

Getting pre-approved not only looks good to home sellers it also lets you know how much home you can afford. This means you can focus looking at homes that are realistic for your budget and let’s the seller know you are ready and able to buy.

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4. Decide on your wants, needs and deal breakers

Whether you are purchasing a home alone or with others, knowing what each person involved wants is important. It’s also good to have a list of deal breakers and things you will bend a little on. This will save you from wasting time on homes that just won’t work for you.

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5. Find a good real estate agent who aligns with your values

To make the process the best it can be, it’s essential you have an agent who can meet your needs. You may want an agent that is always available for questions, constantly on the lookout for the right home, or great at getting you to see the big picture. Whatever it is, make sure the agent you choose has it. Not sure how to see if an agent has the qualities your looking for? Check out the FastExpert filter by trait to narrow it down without an interview.

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6. Be sure the agent you choose is skilled at negotiating

If you’re in a situation where you are competing against 10 other bids, you want an agent who can make you standout among the rest and get you the house. These agents know the market and know how to work it to their client’s advantage. That’s who you want on your side.

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7. Remember that some things can be changed and some things can’t

There are really only a few things that can’t be changed in a house. Most things can all be changed when your budget allows and you should keep this in mind as finding a place that is exactly what you want as-is is going to be near impossible.

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8. Don’t avoid the home inspection

Unless you are very experienced in the world of home maintenance and repair, many issues can evade your notice. If the issue is big enough it may make you change your offer. So whether you do a pre-inspection, inspection contingency, or inspection after purchase, it is important to know what you’re getting into.

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9. Put some thought into your bid

In simple terms, an offer should take into account what the home is worth and what you can afford. But also remember that home sellers are real people. Think about doing some research to find out what is important to the seller and work that into the offer.

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