1) Talk to a lender
Find out what you would be pre-approved at. More importantly, provide your lender with your comfort zone for a payment including taxes, insurance, association dues that may be applicable. In addition, by running your pre-approval, you will be made aware of your current credit score and if there are any issues on your credit that may need to be cleared up before moving forward.
2) Location, location, location!
Choosing your community is an important component in the home buying process. Do some homework on the schools within the village; visit the village website to see what they have to offer. This can all be done right from my website under “Resources”. Do a few “drive by’s” to get a feel for some neighborhoods, this will give you a feel for the area. Consider your commute to work; are you close to what is important to you?
3) Make your list of “must have” and your list of “would like to have”
We cannot all necessarily get every feature in a home that we want, but it is important to know what you can and cannot live without. As you begin going through homes you will be able to start to prioritize which of these “must haves” are truly necessary and which ones you can do without. Be open to suggestions from me as your real estate professional as well.
4) Don’t judge a house by its cover
Don’t let the green shag carpet from the 70’s scare you off….imagine there could be hardwood under that shag. While some agents believe in staging to make it show well, you really need to focus on does this house have good bones? Are the rooms big enough? How is the flow of the home? Does it fit my needs? Look beyond the décor and imagine how your belongings will look in this home with your choice of paint color and your personal touch of making this house your home.
5) Peace of mind
You have found your home; it is time to have a professional home inspector thoroughly inspect your future investment. This is an incredibly important part of the home buying process. After the inspection, you will be provided with a list of his findings. Many of these issues will be small and insignificant, however, he may find something of significance, at this point you could consult a professional to see what it would take to correct the issue, or it may be in your best interest to walk away.