When buying a home, one of your first steps should be to speak to a mortgage lender. Your mortgage lender will be able to tell you which loan programs are available to you, how much home you can afford, and give you a pre-approval letter to submit with your offer on a home once you get to that step. If you're unsure where to start, I work with several mortgage lenders and can help you find one that is the perfect fit for you.
*Know the Local Market*
Once you have a budget in mind, it's a good idea to look at homes listed in that price range, and also homes that have sold in that price range in the area that you're planning to buy.
*Make a List*
I want you to make a list. Actually, I want you to make three lists. One with things you need, one with things you want, and one with things you don't want. Do you need 4 bedrooms? Do you want a big backyard? Don't want to live in the country? Write it down! These lists will help keep both you and I on track as we search for your perfect home. Don't feel bad if you can't come up with anything at first, sometimes people aren't sure what they really want or don't want until they actually start looking at homes.
I will provide you with an information sheet from the MLS for every home we view, but it's important for you to take extra notes. The more homes we view, the harder if will be for you to recall exactly which house had the master bathroom with the smaller-than-desireable shower stall.
*Look Past the Paint*
Some features of a home might not be quite what you had in mind, but keep in mind that a lot of things can be easily changed. Paint color, light fixtures, sink faucets, carpet- these and many more can be changed with minimal cost and effort. If a home has all of the items on your need and want lists, don't let something like hot pink paint in the master bedroom stop you from writing an offer.
*Time is of the Essence*
When you find THE ONE, you might want to race back to my office to submit your offer right that second. Especially if you've been looking for weeks or you've got limited time in the TLF. But you might need to sleep on it, and that's perfectly fine, too. If you're not on a time limit, I suggest to take a night to sleep on it. Talk it over with your spouse or your friends and family, make sure that this house really is the right house for you. But, don't wait too long. You never know if there is a couple across town who looked at that house yesterday and are sleeping on it tonight, too.