Buying a new home can be a stressful experience, especially if it’s your first. There are a number of important factors to consider, such as finances and the location of the home itself. While the process can be difficult, rest assured that millions of people have made it through without any issue other than the occasional stress headache. Here are a few helpful tips to make your next home buying experience a little easier.
Explore Your Credit and Financing Options
Very few homebuyers have the cash on hand to pay for a home outright. When buying a house, you’ll likely need to apply for a loan. Before applying for a mortgage, or any kind of financial assistance, you should always check your current credit score. The government website annualcreditreport.com allows you to view your scores from three different companies for free, although the service can only be used once per year.
Credit scores range from about 300 to 850, with a higher score indicating better credit. This value will be used by lenders and banks to determine what loans you qualify for at what level of interest, so it’s important to know yours ahead of time to better understand what financing options will be available to you.
Determine Your Monthly Budget
The next step is to determine how much you are capable of spending each month. Don’t forget to factor in important expenses such as your down payment, closing costs, cost of future utilities and any other recurring fees you’ll have to pay in the future. Closing on a home you can’t afford in the long term will cause significantly more financial and emotional stress than knowing your feasible budget ahead of time.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent for You
Do your research to find the perfect real estate agent or mortgage lender for you. Start by asking friends or family for recommendations, but also check reputable websites like the Better Business Bureau for online reviews. After creating a short list of the agents you like most, take the time to meet with each one individually and ask a lot of questions before making a final decision. Purchasing a home is likely the biggest financial decision you’ll ever make; it’s important to find someone who has your best interests at heart and can ease you through the entire process.
Before going out and looking at homes, make a comprehensive list of the things you want in a house: number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, etc. If you’re fortunate enough to find something that seems perfect, keep looking. Shopping around is a good way to really understand what homes are available to you, both in the market and within your budget. You don’t want to wait too long to make an offer or you risk losing the home you were looking at to someone else, but try to compare two or three properties before making a final decision.
Make an Offer
When you’ve found the perfect home, all that’s left to do is make an offer to the seller. Most sellers price their homes a bit higher than its worth, expecting you to haggle down the value. You can respectfully take this opportunity to try and save as much money as possible. Start by asking your real estate agent what similar homes have sold for and go from there.
Also remember you’ll need to have a professional home inspection before any deal goes through. This home inspection may uncover problems, big or small, which will give you added negotiating power. If the roof needs to be replaced you may be able to get the seller to replace it before you buy it, or, more likely, get them to knock a comparable amount off their asking price.
Once you and the seller have agreed on a price you’ll make an earnest money deposit, which is money that goes in escrow as a sign of good faith. Then you can finalize your financing and start planning your big move!
Get Moving with Humboldt
After purchasing a new home, the next step is moving in. Residential moving can be just as stressful as the home-buying process when you don’t have the proper help. That’s why Humboldt Moving and Storage is here to make your move stress-free. As a premier Boston moving company, we’re proud to offer a full range of residential moving services. Contact us today to schedule a free moving consultation and learn what Humboldt can do for you.