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 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
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
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.
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
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.