Useful Home Buying Tips

Buying a home, whether for the first time or the fourth time, is exciting. There are many things to take into consideration and sometimes the process can get a bit overwhelming. Working with an experienced, knowledgeable REALTOR® can be a great asset in easing the stress. Employing a real estate agent and allowing that person to represent you in an agent/client relationship with enable you to relax and enjoy the experience. They work in the field every day and can share their knowledge of the area, the schools, and the potential resale value to help you through the entire process. 
 
You may also want to take into consideration the following tips:
 
It’s not just the house

Have your finances in order & be prepared to present a pre-approval letter before you look at your first home. It will be expected when submitting any offer.
Prioritize your needs and wants and let your REALTOR® know. 
Consider the schools. Even if you do not have children, consider resale value.
Access to major roads and amenities, emergency services, shopping, etc.    
 
Finding the neighborhood that’s right for you

Finding the right neighborhood can be a challenge so begin by creating a checklist of the features that are important to you. Maybe you prefer an older, more established neighborhood.

Maybe you like being in a brand new area. Whatever your preferences, write them down and rank them in order of importance.   It’s a good idea to pick the neighborhood first.
 
New vs. Existing

One question to consider when buying a home is whether you’re better suited to an existing house or new construction. A newly built home allows you to customize many elements; however, an advantage to buying an existing home is that the neighborhood is already established. You can see what’s around the corner, who your neighbors are, and what kind of growth is taking place. New versus existing – both have advantages. And remember….having a REALTOR represent you in the purchase of new construction does not cost you anything! All reputable builders will cooperate with REALTORS® and you are not penalized for having representation.
 
Touring the homes

Your agent will show you 4-6 homes per day. Any more than that puts your brain on overload. Bring a camera, but be sure you have permission to take pictures of the home.

Take copious notes. If you are looking for homes for more than one day, you will not remember the details of all of the homes. Prioritize them as your #1, #2, #3 choice so that you can go back later and take another look at your top choices.

Making an offer

Now that you’ve found the perfect home, and you’re ready to make an offer, your REALTOR will explain that you must put everything in writing in order for the Seller to give your offer serious consideration. Your REALTOR® can help you construct your offer and guide you through the maze of forms.
 
Put yourself in the Seller’s shoes

Ask yourself why the seller is selling the house. Try and understand why the seller bought the home in the first place. Are his priorities in line with yours? Did he buy for investment purposes? If so, is the investment still good? In the end, the home buying process comes down to the individuals buying and selling the home. A closer look at the seller may help you in deciding whether and for how much to buy the particular home.
 
An inspection is a good investment

Whether you decide on new or existing construction, your REALTOR® will recommend an inspection of the property by a professional, licensed real estate inspector. A home inspection goes beyond the cosmetic to give you a better look at what’s behind the walls. This is never a good place to “save money”.

Information obtained from the Texas Association of REALTORS®

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