Buying Property Guide
When buying a home, there are several things to consider and having an inspector, either a state licensed real estate inspector or a registered professional engineer, examine your future home is one of them.
Inspections allow home buyers to receive an objective opinion that they can use to assist them in their purchase. It is the buyers' responsibility to ascertain the condition of the property. Therefore, it is also the buyers' responsibility to order and, normally, to pay for the inspections he wants completed on the property. The buyer is encouraged to be present during the inspection. This allows the inspector to explain his procedures and what the home buyer can expect from the inspection.
Buying a home is an important step toward financial security. There are several steps to take when buying a house:
Step 1: Defining What You Want - What's important to you?
One of the first things you have to do is decide where you want to live and what sort of property you are looking for. Think about which features are essential to you and which ones you could do without. A practical way of doing this is to think of every conceivable feature in a property and put them into three lists, 1, 2 and 3 - where 1 is for essential features and 3 is for "nice to have" features. Deciding these matters in advance will not only help you rate houses when viewing, but also help put your ideals into perspective when you come to make the big decision.
Start by creating a prioritized list of features you want in your next home and the reasons why. Use it as your search guide, but remember that depending on your funding, you will probably need to make some compromises. In addition, talk to your real estate professional about where you want to live. Location is a huge part of any move.
Step 2: Figuring Out What You Can Afford - How much can you afford?
Think about what you can afford. Remember to take into account the other costs you will incur apart from a mortgages loan, ie the deposit on your new home, the cost of any surveys, your solicitor's fees, stamp duty as well as your normal outgoings.
If it is a first home you may need to buy a lot of furniture and kitchen appliances at once. Also be realistic about your outgoings: it is easy to underrate how important a holiday is to you!
Step 3: Shopping for Homes
Once you know what community you'd like to live in and have an idea of how much house you can afford, its time to start checking out actual properties. Beginning this search online can help save you time since it can help you target homes that meet your search criteria. Our home notifier can even email you when properties come on the market that meet your search criteria.
Next, begin visiting homes in person. Ask your local real estate professional to arrange visits and attend open houses that are in your target area and price range. When comparing homes, make sure to look at all aspects of the property. Is the property tax approximately the same? Are both the houses renovated? Do they both have the same amount of bedrooms and bathrooms? Are both houses located on the same or similar streets? Does either house have any encumbrances?
Remember to keep an open mind when you are looking at homes. Use a virtual home planner to help you imagine what the house could become with you as the owner.
Once you find the home you want, you need to make an offer for the house. Typically this is a very difficult and trying time since both parties have totally different goals. In most cases it is better to have a third party, such as a real estate professional, negotiate the offer. If you have any personal interaction with the homeowner, don't give out any information about your move, your current housing status, financial status or your feelings about their property - positive or negative. This could hurt you in future negotiations.
This might also be a good time to consider purchasing a home protection plan. These insurance policies can be purchased by the buyer or seller and help protect against unexpected costs or home repairs during the listing period or in the initial years after a home has been purchased.
Step 4: Inspection and Insurance
After your offer is accepted you will need to set up, coordinate and interpret various inspections, including insect, radon, building quality, oil tank, title, etc. You will also need to arrange for homeowners insurance and finalize the mortgage.
This is a major step in the buying process and there are many potential problems that can be discovered during this period. These include a leaky roof, radon gas, termite damage, a foundation problem, and wall cracks, to name a few. These problems happen all the time. The difference between closing on your dream home and starting the process all over again is what occurs during the negotiations between you and the seller.
Step 5: The Final Closing
Before you arrive at the closing, make sure all the necessary paper work and deposits have been completed. If the mortgage, title work, homeowners insurance and other items necessary under local and state laws are not completed and brought to the closing table, the closing may not happen on time. And, depending on what the contract says, this could result in further action including financial penalties and even the loss of your rights to the home.
Once you close, it's official - you own the house! But there might be a few things you want to do before you lay out the welcome mat. These include arranging for an alarm system, turning on the electricity, subscribing to the local paper, cleaning or replacing the carpet, arranging for lawn services, etc. This could also be a good time to make some needed renovations.
We can make buying a home easy, whatever type of property you are searching for. Get started by searching for a home using our property search, or fill in our BUYING PROPERTY FORM so that one of our real estate professionals help you.