Is it time to strike out on your own and purchase your first home? It’s an exciting prospect, particularly if you’ve never done anything but rent. There’s a sense of achievement that accompanies buying your own home, and a feeling of anticipation about the happy years you’ll spend in the new property.
Of course, there’s also the whirlwind of changes that you’ll probably want to make – repainting certain rooms, replacing carpet with hardwood and the like. However, it’s important to ensure that you know what you’re in for long before you get to closing. Here are a few of the most important tips new home buyers should know.
This advice has been given before, but it pays to double down on it. You need to shop smart. Begin by making a list of all the things you absolutely must have in a property, along with notes about what you’d be willing to sacrifice to either obtain those things, or for something better.
However, this tip needs to be kept in mind in other ways, as well. For instance, there will likely be something that needs to be repaired or fixed in just about every property you view. Even brand new homes (and often, particularly, brand new homes) need some TLC before they’re perfect. Shop smart. Know what to look for in a home in the way of problems.
Is there a slight discoloration on the ceiling that might indicate a roof leak? Does the floor slope? Is the crown molding or chair rail starting to pull away? These are just a few minor examples. Understand what’s wrong, what it will take to fix it, and how that will impact your decision to buy or the amount you make in an offer for the home.
In a related note, don’t fall in love with upgrades or improvements alone. Yes, curb appeal is important, but is that new landscaping or vinyl siding more important than the fact that the roof is 25 years old and about to need replacing? Is the new hot tub out back more important than the fact that the HVAC system is from three decades ago? Upgrades can be important, but you need to learn to look past them to the reality of the home you’re considering.
Have a Buyer’s Agent
In most instances, you might assume that you’ll be working primarily with the seller’s real estate agent, and that is possible, although not advised. Really, you need a buyer’s agent on your side. Why? These professionals look out for your best interests (not the seller’s) and they usually won’t cost you a penny, as the seller is responsible for their fees.
What might a buyer’s agent do for you? Pretty much anything that a seller’s agent could do for the home owner. They can help you navigate pricing, find the right home in the right neighborhood, and answer questions before and after closing, as well as a lot more. Does it add time to your buying process? Sure. Is it important to have a buyer’s agent? Yes, very.
Find the Right Long Island Mortgage Company First
Too many buyers get off on the wrong foot when buying a home because they start looking at properties first thing. Finding a Long Island mortgage company first might seem like you’re putting the cart before the horse, but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s really a far wiser idea to work with a Long Island mortgage broker in the beginning than to try to secure financing after you’ve fallen in love with a property that ultimately ends up out of your price range.
By working with a Long Island mortgage broker initially, you can start the qualification process. Or, as is the case with Reliant Home Funding, you can do yourself one better and actually start the mortgage loan process itself. This goes farther than “pre-approval”, and actually gets you a loan approved by an underwriter contingent on you choosing a property.
It greatly speeds up the entire process, but can also alleviate the problem of finding a home that’s too far outside your price range. If you know how much you can spend before you start shopping around, you’re much less likely to even look at homes with a price tag beyond the amount you’ve been approved for in the loan. Work with a Long Island mortgage broker as one of the first steps in the process (if not the first step, after you’ve made sure you’re a financially viable candidate for home buying).
Armed with these tips, you should be better prepared to start the home buying process. We invite you to get in touch with Reliant Home Funding to learn more about your options and how a Long Island mortgage broker can help.
Gregory A. Topal
Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company. Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)
Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.