- Invest for the Long Term
The large dollar amount of a real estate transaction results in large transaction fees. Many homebuyers believe that the benefits are not worth the expense unless you are planning on staying in the home for at least 7 years. Real estate lawyers in South Jersey recommend that if you aren’t ready to make that type of commitment, you might want to consider waiting until you are.
- Look at Your Finances
Do not wait until you are ready to make an offer to start getting your finances in order. If you know you are planning on buying a house within the next 12 months, it’s time to meet with a lender. Have your credit report pulled so you can see if there are any errors that you need to have corrected or ways that you can improve your score before you are ready to buy.
You also need to find out what you can be approved for. But, remember that just because you are “approved” for a certain amount does not mean that you can “afford” a mortgage of that amount. Don’t forget that you will be paying taxes and insurance on top of your mortgage payment. Look at your current income and expenses to determine how much you are comfortable spending on a house.
- Choose a Real Estate Partner
Do not go with the first real estate pro that you meet. Ask friends and family for referrals. Check the credentials of any agents that you are interested in using and look for online reviews from other buyers that they have worked with. Meet with at least three agents. Ask about their business. Do they work with buyers and sellers? How many transactions have they been a part of in the past 6 months? Find an agent that is in the industry as their full time job and not doing it on the side. You want an agent that is going to be working for you. Last, but not least, trust your gut. Go with an agent that you trust and that you feel understands what you are looking for.
- Do Your Research
Home ownership is not something to rush into. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the area you want to purchase in to make sure you there will not be any surprises. Be thoughtful when you start your home search. Weigh the pros and cons of each house carefully. Once you close, your decision is permanent. You don’t want to end up stuck in a house you no longer want.
- Be Realistic
If you are looking for that diamond in the rough, you are most likely not going to find it. When houses have lower than expected asking prices, there is usually a valid reason for it. Do not get emotionally attached to a house and accidentally end up overlooking a major problem.
Buying a house can be an exciting process. Real estate lawyers in South Jersey suggest that you familiarize yourself with each step and take your time. By doing so, you will find the home you love for a price you can afford.