by Jeff Setlow
Realtor/Founding Partner at GetAnAgent.com
Knowing what truly matters most to you in homeownership and knowing what you can afford are each key to buying a house you can happily live with. While many first-time Buyers soon become overwhelmed by the business of purchasing their piece of the American Dream; both they and more experienced Buyers can benefit from forming a big picture of what they really want and can afford.
Building Your Purchase Starts with the First Block
A home is the largest purchase that most of us make in a lifetime. Price and affordability will determine aspects of your purchase. It’s crucial that you get your financial house in order from the outset so that you can know exactly what you can afford, what it will cost, and how you will pay for it. Gather all of your financial documents together, including bank statements, tax returns, W2s, pay stubs or copies of work contracts, and any investment statements. Then, start shopping for a mortgage even before you have a house in mind. Your real estate agent can steer you to competitive mortgage brokers and you can check with your local bank or credit union as well. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is your main building block to a successful home purchase.
Get What You Really Want
What’s important to you and your family? Proximity to good schools? A short commute? A big house? Staying close to friends and family? A particular neighborhood? Your long-term satisfaction depends on your short-term home buying goals. Important factors sometimes go to the wayside in the short-term rush of home purchasing. Discussing your preferences and needs with your Realtor® from the start will help you identify your highest priorities when buying a house to call home. Determine your top two or three objectives and stick to your parameters when house-hunting. While not living next door to a crime scene may seem like a no-brainer, a useful tool for both Buyers and real estate agents is to have a short list of your personal deal-breakers handy. A good Realtor® will help you maintain your long-term objectives.
Keeping It Real
A real estate agent that is both aware of, and stays sensitive to, your needs is an important component to your eventual satisfaction. A skilled and experienced Realtor®can be a guiding light through the layered home-buying process, and looks to identify your true priorities and price range. Think of your realty professional as the cornerstone of a solid real estate transaction. Spend a little time getting to know your real estate agent as you discuss your objectives. A good fit between agent and Buyer eases the multifaceted process of home buying and helps determine the deal you get.