Buying or selling a house is one of the most important things that anyone will do in their lifetime. Most people don’t know very much about real estate to start out, and will inevitably make mistakes. Whether you’re buying a house or selling, realtors can be a good source of information and advice. It’s important to remember that choosing a home to live in is a very personal choice, and you should choose a home where you will be happy.
First time buyer? You’re not alone
If you’re a first time home buyer, you have plenty of company. Just under a third or or 32% of home buyers are buying their first home. It’s a good idea to know at the outset that you’ll have to learn the ropes, and to begin planning ahead. You’ll have to do your homework, and in fact there are even home buying classes you can take.
Family, friends, and colleagues are all good sources of information about the technical aspects of buying a home. There are also many online forums where you can even post questions about neighborhoods, prices, school districts, commutes and more. That allows you to map out desirable neighborhoods, commute times, and nearby shopping, outdoor and cultural facilities even before you begin looking at houses.
Getting good advice
The best source of advice about buying a home may be realtors. They are experienced in the field and know all the kinds of things you should look out for. As many as 78% of people who recently bought homes felt that they got useful information from their real estate agent. In fact trust and reliance on real estate agents has been growing over the years, and as of 2014, 84% of home buyers did so through a realtor. In 2010, that number was 69%.
The most difficult part about buying a home may be finding the right one. More than half or 52% of home buyers say that finding the right home is the most difficult part. Townhouse or single family house? City or country? Do you need a walkable neighborhood, public transportation and a coffee shop down the street? Picking the right house can be a very individual choice, and the best advice is to choose one that you like. You’re the one who will be living there, and for a long time.
Planning ahead is essential
If you know that buying a home is part of your plans in the near future, there are some steps you can take in advance so that you’re prepared. Establishing good credit and saving enough money for a down payment are both essential. Most lenders and buyers will require a down payment worth anything from 5 to 20% of the total value of the home.
Once you’re starting to look seriously at houses for sale, it’s a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way when you do find a house you like and make an offer, you know that the financing is available. Home inspections and insurance are also essential steps to complete before inking the deal.
The world of real estate can be a scary place but if you’ve done your homework, and found good advice, you should be able to negotiate it with ease. At the end of it all, you’ll be a proud homeowner.