Are you looking for a new home? Buying a house, as anyone knows, is a huge and
sometimes daunting undertaking. There are so many moving parts to this purchase, that it is
important to be aware of certain items when signing on that proverbial dotted line. Unlike
buying a new pair of pants that you can easily replace or return, a house is a true long-term
investment for the vast majority of buyers out there. Here are some tips for making sure you
are, in fact, buying the house that you think you are buying.
It is very important to have a Home Inspection done before you enter into a contract to buy a house. Hire a reputable professional inspector that will go through the entire house and provide you a detailed report of his/her findings afterwards. Make sure they also inspect for termites and provide a written report on those findings as well. If there are any safety issues that become apparent after the inspection, your realtor or attorney will negotiate reparations that may be available, or, you can decide to pass on that house and move on. At least now you are making an informed decision on what you will be buying.
Shop around for a reputable and knowledgeable mortgage broker or lender, and then get your pre-approval letter in hand so that you know exactly what price range of home you are shopping for. There is no need to be looking for a house that is not in your price range, or too small of a house if you can afford and want more.
Hook up with a knowledgeable, compassionate, and hard-working realtor. This is an absolute must! I have seen many people try to go it alone, either as a seller or a buyer, and end up signing on with a realtor a couple of months down the road. The work that realtors do is invaluable to the entire process and should not be overlooked.
Make sure your agency agreement with your realtor is in writing so you know exactly who the realtor is representing. Generally, realtors represent the seller in a transaction unless they specifically agree to represent your interests, as a Buyer’s Agent.
When you have found a home that you love, there are still some questions you may want to ask. Some items are not physically visible regarding a home, and it is important to ask the questions. Ask if there are any open building permits that need to be closed out with the town, an underground abandoned oil tank that would need to be properly abandoned and if any accessory structures (sheds, decks, additions, pools, etc.) on the property have the proper Certificates of Occupancy. If any of these issues are present, it is best to let your realtor and attorney handle the resolution and discuss it with you.
Lastly, take notice of the neighborhood and traffic patterns around the house. Inquire if traffic is different in the summer, or on weekends, etc. Are there any restaurants or bars nearby that hire bands to play which you may be able to hear? How about ball fields that may bring lots of spectators? These are questions that may or may not impact your desire for a house, and should be explored sooner rather than later.
When all is said and done, when house-hunting, it is nice to know that you have all the
information you need to make a truly informed decision on buying your next dream house!!