Buying a home is probably the biggest investment you will make, with long-term financial ramifications. It calls for many informed decisions and for good advice from a real estate professional. When buying a home, you can learn from the knowledge and skill of The Fisher-Austin Team.
1. We will help you determine how much home you can actually afford. Karen Fisher-Austin will also introduce you to a mortgage counselor and arrange to have you "pre-approved" which can improve your negotiating position and enable you to achieve your home-buying objectives faster and with less stress.
2. Providing client level services, Karen Fisher- Austin can work for you as a buyer's agent and help negotiate the best price and terms for you. Or, she can serve as a disclosed dual agent, acting as a liaison between you and the seller to present offers and counteroffers until an agreement is reached.
3. We have access to a listing of all available homes in the multi-list system, can evaluate them in terms of your needs and affordability, and will not waste your time showing you unsuitable homes.
4. We can supply information on real estate values, taxes, municipal services and facilities that could affect your decision to buy.
5. Karen Fisher-Austin will help familiarize you with the closing process.
6. We provide you with a list of qualified home inspectors, pest inspectors, surveyors, and help to coordinate inspection appointments.
Every important decision needs to be clearly thought out. Developing a home buying plan can help you focus on the important factors and organize the entire process. You may even want to use a binder with sections on house hunting, home financing, service providers, etc. Loan pre-qualifying helps you determine the home price you can afford and presents you as a genuine prospect to the seller. A lender typically uses the 28% formula (your monthly mortgage can't exceed 28% of your monthly income) in approving your loan. Planning your actions and getting pre-qualified will keep you out of the panic mode and allow you to take advantage of opportunities. A thorough plan will save both time and money!
When shopping for a home, list the features (fireplace, fenced-in yard, new appliances, etc.) that are most important to you in deciding on which home to buy. Establishing "your criteria" early on will save time shopping for inappropriate homes and may keep you from buying a home on a whim. As detailed in Tip #3, your top reason for buying a home should be the value you are getting. Some of your top 10 amenities should logically be sacrificed if an incredible value is available.
Whichever loan you choose; make sure that you scrutinize all the closing costs. If you are required to have a mortgage escrow account and private mortgage insurance, make sure you understand the terms and cancellation procedures (your Real Estate Agent has publications to assist you). Also, make sure there are no prepayment penalties so that you can utilize an accelerated mortgage plan. A good mortgage reduction plan can save you tens of thousands in interest costs, and shorten your loan term, with only small extra principal payments. If you experience negative changes in your job, health, or marital status, you can revert to the standard payments in your mortgage contract.
Make sure that the contract you put on a house allows you to arrange financing, inspect the home and negotiate any problems that you uncover. Ensuring that the contract you sign will minimize potential legal battles will let you swim in your new pool with your family and neighbors instead of with the sharks.
Although it is hard to believe, more people pay for inspections before buying used cars than when making the biggest investment of their lives - their homes. Paying for a qualified home inspection before you buy a home isn't just spending "a little extra" for peace of mind; it's absolutely essential for anyone who doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars for repairs.
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