Home Buying 101 – 1 Question, 5 Research Tips.
As market conditions and mortgage regulations change, and without a doubt they do frequently, it becomes more and more important that you do your research before jumping right into the home buying market. This FAQ page is a good beginning, but I’d really like to elaborate on one of the Frequently Asked Questions:Q #5. There seems to be so much to choose from right now, how do I know where to start? A. The vast majority of home buyers begin their search online and I highly recommend doing just that. The problem lies in the restrictive and often faulty nature of some of the information available. Sites like Realtor.com and Zillow, both popular places to get that first look, offer a surprising number of property choices but nothing by way of truly descriptive detail or accurate comparison. I can’t tell you the number of potential home buyers who have called me after getting excited about a long-gone listing still kicking around on line, sometimes even years after it was sold. A far better option, or perhaps more accurately your second step, should be to set up a search. I won’t speak for other agents or other websites, but the searches that we set up for you are both free and without obligation. Search results are delivered directly to your inbox and new listings are updated daily, so it’s less likely you’ll miss out on a property if you’re in a price range that’s selling quickly. Step 1 Choose a Specific Area – One Sunday drive or a quick series of questions to a local Realtor, should allow you to narrow down your desired city or town, or even go as far as designating specific neighborhoods. Having too many choices here is a mistake, way more difficult than it is helpful. For instance, you’ll get much more house for your money in Queen Creek but Tempe is decidedly more convenient. Tempe homes tend to be older with a bit more character whereas houses in Queen Creek are mostly newer and largely tract. Comparing properties in Tempe to Queen Creek fits solidly into the apples and oranges category, impossible to correlate. I’ve listed this one second for just one practical reason. Likely work, schools, health, environment or family and friends figure in to your preferred location, so I’m all for making your price range work for your desired area. Step 2 Know Your Price Range – Talk to a lender. Oddly, this advice frequently appears to cause offense. Please know that it is never meant to be intrusive or annoying. In Arizona it is required by contract, that a written mortgage pre-qualification accompany an offer to purchase. It’s that simple. Your price range will also have an effect on the specific neighborhoods you can choose from within your desired town or city, and size, age or condition of the home. Really that’s it! Everything else is generally predetermined by you or your family’s circumstances. This is the easy part and the point at which it’s a breeze to change your mind. It’s a great place to start even if you’re still undecided about buying a home. Also take note of the 5 smart tips for home buyers in the post below from RIS Media.
5 Researching Tips for Homebuyers
By Dixie Somers – Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:
Being a first-time homebuyer can be an intimidating prospect; it seems like there’s so much to learn! The process doesn’t get less challenging the second or third time around. Here are five tips to help you research and prepare for your next home-buying experience.
Location, Location, Location
It’s a cliché but it’s true: location really is the most important part of the real estate equation. However, the right location isn’t the same for everyone. Take your family’s priorities into account and know where you would buy a home and where you would not. Try to be flexible; if you’re longing for a place with a yard, then a balcony might not cut it—however, a roof deck might! Always look for the exception to the rule. It’s also a good idea to compare home prices around the home that you’re considering. This will help you figure out if your house is a good deal and in line with the market expectations.
Find Your Financing
Finding the perfect house can take years, but once you find it things will move quickly. Most real estate markets are fast-moving and a great house at a great price can easily go on the market in the morning and be under contract by the evening. When you find that house, you have to be ready to jump on it. This means that you should have your financing figured out before you make an offer. Ask friends, family, any law or finance professionals your family uses, or your REALTOR® for a recommendation for a mortgage company. Be sure to get quotes from several different firms so you have a general idea of what your rate really should be.
Understand the Vocabulary
You should educate yourself about some of the jargon that comes with the real estate territory; otherwise, you might find yourself completely out of your league when discussing purchasing terms.
Check Out the Neighborhood
If you’re looking for homes outside of the neighborhood you live in, the best way to get a feel for it is to go and spend the day there. Find a few open houses you’re interested in and go make a day of it. Have lunch, stroll the streets, check out the parks and schools, and find out what kind of people live there. These are the things that give a neighborhood its flavor, and things that you can’t know until you go there and see for yourself.
Choose an Agent
A real estate agent can make or break your home-buying experience. If you don’t have an agent you already know and like, ask for recommendations and check local ratings sites. This can be a very personal relationship, so if you find an agent you believe in, hang on to them!
Buying a home is an exciting and stressful process, but with these tips, you’ll have a great experience researching, shopping for and purchasing your next home.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.
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Bill Salvatore / Arizona Elite Properties
Residential Sales, Marketing, and Property Management
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