If you are looking to buy a new home and have started your search online, you are not alone. More than 92% of people who are shopping for a new house, look to the internet first. As counterintuitive as it may be, home buyers who look for houses online take a longer than those who do not. It takes people who look online about ten weeks and they typically look at ten homes. By contrast, people who look to traditional sources spend five weeks and look at five homes. Either way, people do tend to stay close to where they currently live. The median distance between the new house and the old one is 14 miles. No matter how you want find that new home, if you have an ideal neighborhood in mind or not, there are some tips you should consider when looking to buy a new home.
5 Home Buying Tips:
- Start with your credit. Take a good and honest look at your credit rating. Get your credit report. Talk to your bank or credit union about getting a pre-approval for a mortgage. There is a difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved. A pre-approved person has been vetted by a lender. The lender knows the buyer’s situation inside and out. Having a pre-approval will help you with the negotiation process and can save you money on interest rates.
- Find the ideal neighborhood. This means you have to spend some time there. Think about your lifestyle. Do you have an ideal location in mind? Do you have an idea of what you want in the lifestyle in a new home community? Drive through the area. What may look like a desirable location during the day may look sketchy at night. so do not just drive though once or twice. If you really like a community, ask people who live there what they think. Drive from your office to the ideal neighborhood during rush hour. See where the grocery stores are. Ask about the schools in the area.
- Have the home inspected and the lot surveyed. You need to know everything you can about what you are buying and where you will be living. Have experts go through and check the house for any problems and bring up any issues you find. You should expect to pay about $200 but that will be money well spent. If they find serious problems, you may decide the house is not for you. If they find more minor problems, you may be able to have them fixed or bring the price of the house down far enough to make you be able to fix them yourself. Knowing where the lot begins and ends will help you in the future and avoid problems with your neighbors.
- Be unemotional about your decisions. Before you start the process, make a list of the things you really need to have in a house. When you look at homes, take your checklist. This should include what you are looking at in an ideal neighborhood. Are there amenities that you must have in your new home? Think about your lifestyle and how that might change in the future. Do you have children? Are you planning on having some or having more? If a home looks and feels great but does not have a number of the things you know you really want, you will end up being miserable.
- Consider all of the costs of home ownership. People often look at the mortgage payment as the end all and be all of buying a home but there are other costs included in living there. Look at how much it will cost to maintain the home and keep the landscaping up. Ask about the property taxes, the utility bills and any neighborhood association costs. There are things you can do to make your home more energy efficient and cheaper to maintain.
The process of finding a buying a new home can be very stressful. This is also often the largest purchase many of us make in our entire lives. It is important that people take their time and look at all of their options when making this important decision. Find the right home for you and your family.