Before you look for a house, it’s important to determine how much you can afford to pay and what your financing options are. You will need to narrow down your housing priorities vs. wish list and to find a home that meets your needs. Even if you think you’ve found your dream home, you’ll need to master the basics of home buying like house inspections, making offers, and looking at the right homes that are specific to your needs. In this section I’ve provided some helpfull resources to help you find the home that’s right for you.
Qualifying for a Home Loan
It is very important to consider how much you can afford to pay before you look for a house. Finding out what your budget is in the begining stages will save you time and money because you won’t place a bid on a real estate property that’s out of your price range. It’s wise to get a loan and, if necessary, you will be able to take creative steps toward improving your financial and credit profile.
House Hunting on the Net
Due to the extraordinary growth of the Internet, homebuyers no longer have to depend solely on real estate agents for information or inquiries about homes for sale. Surf listings to see which homes are worth a visit and what they cost, all with the click of a mouse. You can find listings of both resale and new homes based on their location, price, size, amenities and other criteria you key in. Real Estate web sites often include floor plans and photographs.
Internet Realty Company Sites
Century21 MoneyWorld and other major real estate companies, including ERA, RE MAX, Coldwell Banker, Prudential and others also offer house or property listings on there sites. Typically, each listing points to the respective individuals local office, branch or franchise that actually holds the listing. At that level, you can find a handful of listings held by individual broker or small business that often link out or form an alliance with a larger online database listing of homes that are able to target your specific region.
New Homes – Find a Developer First
An important factor in buying a new home is not what it looks like, but rather who is actually building the house. Here are some things you can do to find out if a housing developer is right for you:
- Contact the state or local licensing or consumer protection agency that oversees contractors, and the local Better Business Bureau and ask about any complaints that may have been filed against the them.
- You may want to ask an experienced contractor or home inspector. Have him inspect the house for the quality of construction. If the house isn’t built yet or is already finished, have him look at other homes the developer has or in the process of building.
- Call the county planning or building department staff who deal with local developers on a daily bases. They may be able to provide you with great information.
- Work with a real estate agent that’s familiar with the real estate area you are interested in. They may have handled the resale of houses built by certain developers and may know their reputations.
Inspect the House Before You Buy It
A physical inspection to determine the condition of a house is a very important part of the home-buying process. In some states buyers are protected by laws requiring sellers to disclose valuable information about things such as the condition of the house itself and also potential hazards to the house caused by floods, earthquakes, fires and the environment. (always read the seller disclosures.) The seller should provide disclosures if any, but you should always have the property inspected regardless to look for defects or malfunctions in the building’s structure, such as the roof, plumbing, foundation, etc.