Home Buying Tips | CENTURY 21

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Home Buying Tips

1. Define What You Want in a Community and Home Create a checklist of amenities. This list needs to consist of the things you want/absolutely have to have and the things you can live without. Keep this checklist with you while searching for a house. „

X What community amenities are important to you? „X What is the time and distance to commute to work or school? „X Are you looking to buy a pre-built home or to work with a builder to design a look all your own? „X Do you want a detached or attached home? „X Do you want a one-story or two-story home? „X How many bedrooms and bathrooms are you looking for? „X What size lot are you looking for? Do you need a yard? „X Do you want to be in a certain school district? Are there childcare facilities? „X What are the outdoor recreation options available in the community? „X Are there shopping facilities nearby to suit your needs? „X What medical facilities are available nearby? „X Is there police and fire protection in the area? „X What are the property taxes and HOA fees?

2. Know Your Credit „X Get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan before you begin searching for a new home, this determines how much home you can afford and allows you to act quickly once you find something you like. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and really can afford to buy the property. „X Know the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualified. „X Get the best loan for your individual needs. For example: If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may consider an FHA loan. If you are military personnel, or are a veteran, you may qualify for a VA loan. „X Shop around for the best mortgage rates and terms. A difference of even half a percentage point can mean a huge savings over the life of a loan.

3. Start Searching for Your Home „X Carefully inspect each home you tour and list the things you like and dislike about each of them. „X Rate the homes that you tour and compare them side by side to help you make a decision. „X Take a digital camera along so you can take pictures to remember the attributes of one home over another. „X Review the list of homes and your comparisons and possibly tour them again to finalize your feelings on each of them. You may find a feature that you dislike about one but you may love a certain feature about another home.

4. Make an Offer „X Now that you¡¦ve selected a home that suits your tastes, it¡¦s time to make an offer for purchase. „X You may want to act quickly, in case there are other homebuyer¡¦s interested in the same home. They will be making offers as well, sometimes they may even counteroffer your bid and/or bid higher in order to obtain the home. „X Negotiations on price and certain aspects of the home will be made during this time. These may be negotiated yet again after inspections have been made

. 5. Inspect the Home „X Once you¡¦ve made your offer and arrangements have been made for purchasing the home, you will need to have it inspected. „X There will be several companies serving your community that will be capable of doing proper inspections. Choose an inspection company that you feel is reputable. „X After all applicable inspections have been made, depending on the outcome of the inspections; you may need to have some repairs done to the home. Even if it is a newly built home, inspections should still be done, if recommended, to cover any flaws that may have occurred during the building process.

6. If needed, arrange for repairs „X After all inspections have been completed, you will then need to make arrangements to have any necessary repairs done. „X Sometimes, the seller may be obligated to pay the repair costs. Other times repair costs can be added to the amount of your mortgage. This is all dependent on the type of agreement that you have arranged.

7. Negotiations „X This process can include any changes or repairs made to the home prior to the final contract being submitted. „X You may want to include repairs recommended by the inspector. „X You may have the option of negotiating that the closing costs are added in to the final contract.

8. Closing „X Now that all pre-qualifications have been made to obtain a loan, you have made the necessary decisions on what you expect from your new home, the search has been completed and a suitable home has been found, inspected and repaired as needed, its time to sign the final contract. „X This process is called closing. All parties involved in the buying and selling process should meet at this time to sign the final contract for purchase of your chosen home. Keep in mind that this may not be the final meeting. The verbiage on the contract may not include something specific to your requests or the seller may revoke a previous offer. If this happens, stay relaxed; you want to make sure that everything is correct before you sign the contract.

9. Moving in to Your New Home „X You¡¦ve agreed on a purchase price and signed the final contract for purchase of your new home. Now you can begin the moving process. „X Book a moving company or arrange for a truck rental. „X Make arrangements to get your utilities hooked up/installed, including telephone, power and electricity, cable/satellite, etc.

10. Enjoy Your New Home

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