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Knowledge And Experience
Knowledge and experience are the keys to successful real estate transactions. REALTORS like Jim and Pam have an enormous amount of valuable information, and such data combined with the expertise, experience and training can be the essential keys to your success when purchasing a home.
One of the keys to making the home-buying process easier and more understandable is planning. In doing so, you'll be able to anticipate requests from lenders, lawyers and a host of other professionals. Furthermore, planning will help you discover valuable shortcuts in the home-buying process. We are here to help you with the planning process.
Do You Know What You Want?
Whether you are a first-time home buyer or entering the marketplace as a repeat buyer, you need to ask why you want to buy. Are you planning to move to a new community due to a lifestyle change or is buying an option and not a requirement? What would you like in terms of real estate that you do not now have? Do you have a purchasing time frame?
Whatever your answers, the more you know about the real estate marketplace, the more likely you are to effectively define your goals. As an interesting exercise, it can be worthwhile to look at the questions above and to then discuss them in detail when meeting with us.
Do You Have The Money?
Homes and financing are closely intertwined. (Financing is the difference between the purchase price and the down payment, commonly referred to as debt or the mortgage.) The good news is that over the years new and innovative loan programs have evolved. We can advise you of all available options in the market today.
In addition to a down payment, purchasers also need cash for closing costs (the final costs associated with closing the loan).
Not everyone, however, elects to purchase with little or no money down. Less money down means higher monthly mortgage payments, so most home buyers choose to buy with some cash up front.
As to closing costs, in markets where buyers have leverage, it may be possible to negotiate an offer for a home that requires the owner to pay some or all of your settlement expenses. Speak with us for details.
Is Your Financial House in Order?
Those great loans with little or nothing down are not available to everyone: You need good credit. For at least one year prior to purchasing a home, you should assure that every credit card bill, rent check, car payment and other debt is paid in full and on time.
Here are some tips to help determine which house is best for you.
Once you've settled on a couple of neighborhoods for your search, it's time to pick out a few homes to view. Your wish list can remind you which features are absolute requirements and which amenities you'd like to have if possible. When narrowing down your home search, consider:
Types Of Homes
In addition to single family homes (one home per lot), there are other forms of home ownership:
- Multifamily homes: Some buyers, particularly first-timers, start with multiple family dwellings, so they'll have rental income to help with their costs. Many mortgage plans, including VA and FHA loans, can be used for buildings with up to four units, if the buyer intends to occupy one of them.
- Condominiums: With a condo, you own "from the plaster in" just as you would a single house. You also own a certain percentage of the "common elements" -- staircases, sidewalks, roofs and the like. Monthly charges pay your share of taxes and insurance on those elements, as well as repairs and maintenance. A homeowners association administers the development.
Home Purchase Considerations
Most buyers' first consideration, after neighborhoods are chosen, is the number of bedrooms. As you begin to view homes, keep the following purchase and resale considerations in mind:
- Weigh your needs, budget and personal tastes in deciding whether you want a home that is a newly constructed home, an older home or a home that requires some work -- a "fixer-upper."
- One-bedroom condos are more difficult to resell than two-bedroom ones.
- Two - bedroom / one-bath single houses generally have less appeal than houses with three or more bedrooms, and therefore less appreciation potential.
- Homes with "curb appeal" (a well-maintained, attractive, and charming view-from-the-street appearance) are the easiest to resell.
- When resale is a possibility, don't buy the most expensive house on the street, or anything that is unusual or unique. The best investment potential is traditionally found in a less expensive, more moderately sized home on the street.
Home Comparison Chart
While house-hunting, it's a good idea to make notes about what you see because viewing several houses at a time can be confusing. Use a home comparison chart to help you keep track of your search, organize your thoughts and record your impressions.
When You Have Found The Right Home
Before you begin the home buying process, resolve to act promptly when you find the right house. Every REALTOR® has stories to tell about a couple who looked far and wide for their dream home, finally found it, and then revealed that "we always promised my Dad we'd sleep on it, so we'll make an offer tomorrow." Many times the story has a sad ending -- someone else came in that evening with an offer that was accepted.
Resolve at this point that you will act decisively when you find the house that is clearly right for you. This is particularly important after a long search or if the house is newly listed and / or under priced
For more Information on our Buyers Services
Please call us at (813) 655-4920 or Email us at info@MacKayandMacKay.com