Purchasing a home can be quite a bit easier and more simple than you may imagine, as long as you have thought out your intentions, and have done your homework. The following are a few tips to help you navigate the start of the home buying process and avoid costly mistakes.
1. Safe your nickels.
Owning a home can be expensive. Some first-time home buyers are more concerned about the down payment and closing costs when they should be considering the cost of owning a home. Remember, once you own the home you will be responsible for it’s upkeep and maintenance as well as ever increasing taxes and insurance. You may want to consider saving not only for closing costs, but to have an emergency bank account with enough reserves to cover unexpected events. In another article I will outline the costs of home ownership.
2. Get preapproved from an area lender.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, it is critically important to sit down with a lender to discuss not only what you can afford, but also what you’re comfortable with spending. Here is a rudimentary affordability calculator that may be helpful:
https://bit.ly/2BNx2x0. Once you have a good idea on what you can afford, have your lender provide you with a preapproval letter.
3. Set up a meeting with a trusted area Realtor.
Now is a good time to meet with your Realtor and discuss what your needs are and the type of home that may interest you. Are certain neighborhoods of more interest than others? Is the school district of importance? What size home do you need? Updated home? Fixer upper? Don’t be afraid to be open at first, and narrow as you go along.
Let your Realtor show you available options that fit the criteria you outline. Often times an active Realtor will know of properties that are not currently on the market, but will be soon. Once you have a good Realtor as a member of your team you’ll have a professional that will work side by side with you through the process.
Take your time, and spend all the time you need house hunting. Picking out your first home should be fun and exciting, enjoy it.
Bob Miller is an Associate Broker with 10 years of real estate experience as well as 15 years of service as a former Lake Placid School Board member, and is currently a 3-time elected Town Councilman in Lake Placid.