Buying a home

Whether you're buying your very first home, or moving for what seems like the hundredth time, purchasing a home can be a stressful experience. Being organized can really help make the process run smoothly and, hopefully, hassle-free.

Your financial situation

Can you really afford to buy? Work out your current living expenses and pay off any debt that you have first. Begin to budget for your dream home. Talk with a mortgage lender to help you assess your finances and work out if you can afford to borrow and how much.

Location

Location is crucial. How far are you really willing to commute to your place of employment? How good are the local schools, shopping centers, public transportation and other public amenities? Will your new home be next to a vacant lot or a commercial property? Take your time and don`t rush into anything. Make sure that both you and your partner (if you have one) have the same ideas about the location you are looking for.

Do research

The more research you do prior to buying your home, the better off you'll be. Find out what types of mortgages are on offer. Shop around for the best quotes from mortgage lenders. Choose and find an estate agent (sign up with a few for a quicker search).


Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Apply for a mortgage before you go looking for a house. This way you will be able to reassure the seller. Rather than guessing or estimating how much you can afford to spend, ask a lender or financial adviser to give you a full assessment and a letter stating how much you're qualified to borrow. This will increase your chances of getting the property you want.


Understand everything

Read before signing on that dotted line so that there are no surprises later on. Get your solicitor or financial adviser to read through any contracts and documents and get him/her to explain what it all means.

Make a wishlist

Before going out searching for a house make a wishlist of what type of home, area and any added features you want. Give your agent a copy and tell them not to contact you unless the property resembles what you are looking for.

Pound the Pavement

Once you've focused your search to one or two areas, get out and view as many homes as you can. Wear comfortable shoes and sensible clothing. Be prepared to search 100 houses before you find your dream home.

Use an inspection checklist.

Keeping up with the amount of houses you go and view can be confusing. Take a long an inspection checklist and mark off what the home has to offer and what is wrong with it. Also take along a maintenance checklist so that you don`t forget to check the important things, plumbing, how well the roof is, the floors, etc.. Take along an inventory agreement that you can get the seller to sign. So that if you do buy the property you won`t get confused at what is being left behind and what is not.

Be prepared to make an offer

If you can`t afford to make an offer stop looking, you are wasting your time and everyone else's time. If you are ready to make an offer don`t stew on it put the offer in as soon as you decide you like a property. Even if you leave it for a day you may be a day to late. Familiarize yourself with how offers become contracts.

Valuation

All lenders require a valuation of the property to be carried out by a qualified surveyor who acts for the lender. This is to ensure the property is worth the amount of money you are borrowing. In most cases, the Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) will instruct the surveyor on behalf of the lender.

Be Patient

Buying a home can be a trying process - from finding the perfect house that you can't afford to not finding anything that you like at all. You can't force a house to become a home! Keep in mind that many people look for up to a year before finding the right home.

 

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