You just got married and are ready to take the next step and own a home. You are moving to a new city and are looking for homes for sale. You like vacationing and want a nice lake home. Maybe you want a second piece of real estate for more income. Maybe you want a trustworthy real estate agent to help you choose from the variety of lake homes for sale. Maybe you are saving up for your first piece of property and just want to preview a real estate service so you know what steps to take next.
Whatever your reasons for buying real estate, these three tips will help you figure out the real estate buying process and navigate it in a smoother way.
- Tip #1: Know what you want. This takes some time, introspection, and research (more on that in Tip 2), but it will make everyone’s job easier. Who do I mean by everyone? You, the real estate agent, your spouse, the contractors (if you’re building a home on vacant acreage). A buyer who knows what they want will find it easier to direct their real estate agent, choose the appropriate property, save the appropriate amount of money (more on that in Tip 3), and feel satisfied with the final decision. Buying real estate can be a long, time-consuming, stressful process even if you know what you want, so try to think ahead and visualize what kind of home suits you, your friends, and your family. Writing down what you prefer can also help, or saving pictures of houses you like even if they’re not in the area you’re shopping in.
- Tip #2: Use the internet. Whether you are like the 32% of people who are first-time home buyers or this is your second piece of real estate, the internet can be a valuable tool to help you research available homes in the area as well as quality, helpful real estate agencies. So whether your first step is searching for homes or searching for real estate agencies, the internet is a ready resource. Most people are using the internet in their own searches for homes, especially as their first step. The internet can be used to tour a home without leaving your office chair or couch. You can find anything from average prices of homes to customer ratings of real estate agencies to the demographic makeup of the city you may be/are moving to. This can be especially helpful in figuring out what you want in a house (hello again Tip #1!).
- Tip #3: Save more than enough money. By this I mean even if you have a rough idea of how much the down payment for a mortgage will cost, save more than that. Ideally twice or three times as much. This comes in handy in multiple ways. It helps for negotiating, since if you find the house of your dreams and you need to go a couple of thousand dollars higher than anticipated you won’t be breaking your bank. It helps for moving expenses, since those are often more than expected. It also helps for any other unexpected fees associated with the real estate buying process. It is also a good cushion for those first few rounds of property taxes and inspections.
Buying real estate is a very big decision. It is a milestone for many and important no matter how many pieces of property you already have. Make sure you are always informed, focused, and financially prepared to make the best decision possible.