Buying Your First House
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The process of buying your first property, whether it is a condo or house, is one which requires a lot of due diligence on your part as the buyer. Most buyers start their search on the internet. This is only the beginning. The very first thing a buyer needs to due is to get pre-approved by a mortgage lender in order to know how much the bank will allow him or her to borrow. Currently, banks are much more rigid as to the requirements a buyer must meet.
It is very important to work with a broker after you have identified which town you would like to look in. A broker can represent you as a Buyer’s agent. This will provide you with someone who has fiduciary duties to the buyer and the buyer alone. Ask your broker if s/he is a buyer’s agent.
One of the most important aspects of real estate is location-location-location. This is still true today. Certain factors are important to consider as well when buying in order to be assured that you make the right decision. These include condition and inventory. If a property needs a lot of work, this factor should be taken into consideration. The cost of renovation and updating may make the property too expensive when adding the cost of those renovations to the purchase price.
When you identify a property go there several times, night and day. Notice the noise, traffic, and learn all you can about the neighborhood. Speak with the neighbors, as this is a major purchase. Look at it carefully.
Along with having a good buyer’s broker, you should hire a good attorney who concentrates only real estate transactions. If you are a first time home buyer, you will likely be purchasing a condo. This means there are condo documents, budgets and rules and regulations. All of these should be reviewed by your attorney after you propose your offer but before you sign a Purchase and Sale agreement.
The next step is an inspection of the property. The buyer should hire a qualified inspector who is recommended. If there are any issues from the inspection, the terms will be renegotiated through the brokers. Your attorney will incorporate the changes in the Purchase and Sale agreement for you as well.
The buyer will then compare mortgage rates and programs available. Apply on time and satisfy all the dates that are written in your Purchase and Sale agreement. The process of making an offer through going to the closing table usually takes about six weeks.
Prior to closing, have a walk through of your property. This should be completed 24 hours before the closing to check and see if the property is in the same condition as it was when you saw it at the inspection and to check to see if all appliances, heat/AC etc. are working. The closing is next and your attorney will brief you on what to bring.
If you have a great buyer’s agent, mortgage broker and attorney, your purchase will go smoothly. Everyone will do their job in a timely manner. It is up to you the buyer to check in with these people to see the status on your purchase and that all dates are satisfied.
Owning your own home is one of the best purchases you can make. There are tax benefits, appreciation of your property and the pure joy of coming home to your own place where you can paint, decorate and enjoy the home and the feeling that you have invested in your future, both emotionally and monetarily.