Fridrich & Clark Realtors know that “There’s no place like home” and our training, experience, market knowledge, and professional care will help you realize your dreams. A trusted real estate partner is equipped to provide expert counsel and guidance throughout the home-buying process, helping buyers achieve their goals while avoiding potentially disastrous pitfalls.
What are the steps if you are considering a home purchase?
Step One: Consider your Finances
Get pre-approved for your loan before beginning the home-search process. Your Fridrich & Clark Realtor can assist you with this first step by helping you find a lender best suited to your needs. When consulting a lender in the pre-approval process, you will be reviewing your credit history and score. Your lender will look at all of your finances, including income, outstanding debts or financial obligations, and help determine the amount of mortgage you can afford, the maximum home price and maximum monthly payment. Loan pre-approval will empower you to make the best possible, most informed decisions as a homebuyer. Now you have a pre-approval letter! What’s next?
Step Two: The Search
Your search should begin by partnering with a qualified, experienced Realtor. That Realtor will be asking you many questions to help you find your new home. Considerations you need to discuss with your Realtor include:
“When it comes to buying a home, my advice is to buy the neighborhood, not the house”
– Rob Zache
This advice is thought-provoking and may even be startling to some buyers. Consider picking the best neighborhood you can afford and select a house in the lower or middle end of the price range in that neighborhood. The strength of the neighborhood will raise the value of your home and will most certainly add to your quality of life as long as you remain in that home. Of course, things like school zones and ease of commuting to work may be factors in deciding which neighborhoods that are at the top of your search list.
- Consider NEEDS and WANTS and distinguish between them
Some things, like the minimum number of bedrooms or bathrooms are “must haves” or needs. Some things like square footage, playrooms, types and sizes of lots can be extremely important. Consider your lifestyle – do you entertain? Do you have children or want room to grow your family? Do you have pets? Try listing the 3 things you cannot live without (with agreement from your spouse or those who will be living with you). Buy what you need – if you’ve found a house you like in the school district of your choice, you can always upgrade kitchen countertops or fence a yard.
- Some other considerations
Make sure you don’t stretch yourself too thin – it may be tempting to fall in love with a home that’s at the very maximum of what you can afford, but in calculating your budget, remember that you will need cash in reserve for the upkeep of your new home. Here’s where your head may need to rule your heart for long-term happiness.
It’s smart to buy a home that has the potential to increase in value.
“You make your money when you buy real estate, not when you sell it.”
– Tom Kunz
Step Three: Making an Offer
Your Fridrich & Clark Realtor will write up a contract with your offer, accepting the seller’s asking price or making an offer of a different price. Your Fridrich & Clark Realtor is an expert in the legal components of the written sales agreement, including earnest money, proposed closing and move-in dates, contingencies, inspections, and confirmations of financing. The guidance of a professional who represents your interests will make all the negotiations that are a necessary part of the home-buying process much smoother.
Step Four: Closing
Just prior to the closing, you and your Realtor will have a final “walk through” of your new home to be sure that nothing has changed and that any corrections specified in your contract have been completed. The closing is the final and formal step in the home purchase process. Your Realtor will assist you and the closing attorneys in ensuring that your financing is in order and that all necessary documents are signed.
Now you have the keys to your new home.