Matthew Walsh's Blog
As a homebuyer, entering the real estate market with insights into what it takes to find the perfect house is essential.
Becoming an expert homebuyer, however, may seem impossible at times. Lucky for you, we're here to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to make your homeownership dreams come true.
What does it take to become an expert homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Look at Real Estate Market Trends
The housing market ebbs and flows. Therefore, a seller's market today may transform into a buyer's market tomorrow.
Ultimately, the real estate market fluctuates constantly, and you'll want to learn as much as possible about the housing sector to ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
In a buyer's market, there are usually more home sellers than buyers. This means homebuyers may be better equipped than ever before to secure a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.
On the other hand, a seller's market features an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of sellers. For homebuyers who operate in a seller's market, they may be forced to submit competitive offers on homes quickly, or risk missing out on a dream residence to a rival.
When you study the housing market, don't forget to check out the prices of residences that recently sold. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of how much you'll likely need to pay to acquire a first-rate house based on the current state of the housing market.
2. Learn How a Mortgage Works
What differentiates a fixed-rate mortgage from an adjustable-rate option? An expert homebuyer will know the ins and outs of assorted mortgage options and select one that corresponds to his or her finances.
To learn about mortgages and how they work, you'll want to meet with credit unions and banks. These lenders can describe the different types of mortgages and the pros and cons associated with them.
Also, an expert homebuyer will get pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will be able to stick to a price range as he or she searches for the ideal home.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – no homebuyer can afford to make mistakes. Fortunately, you can work with a real estate agent to receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent boasts the skills and know-how needed to streamline the homebuying process. He or she may have many years of housing market experience and is happy to teach you about the opportunities and challenges associated with buying a house.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you accelerate the homebuying cycle. He or she can set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and much more. That way, you can focus on what's important – finding a terrific house at an affordable price.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can become an expert homebuyer.
You have been in the same home for several years, but you want to move. You'll need to decide whether to rent or buy and if you decide to buy, what type of home you want. Condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes all have benefits, depending on where you are in life. Many people don’t want to deal with lawn maintenance when they get older. Sometimes, younger people who are focused on their careers would rather not have any maintenance to deal with. However, the perks of owning a single-family home often outweigh the cons, especially if the only con is the maintenance. After all, you can always hire someone to take care of the maintenance.
Even if you are in the city with your neighbors close to you, you have more privacy with a single-family home than you would with a condo or a townhouse. Even though you have a yard with a townhouse, you'll likely share it with the others in the same building. And, when you share a wall with your neighbor, you must be mindful of loud noises, which means you can’t turn the television up as loud as you want. With a single-family home, you can also fence in your backyard for even more privacy.
When you buy a single-family home, you can add to the value of the property without getting anyone’s permission. If you want to add a garden shed, a detached garage or even a pool, as long as zoning allows it, you can do that. However, if you are buying a house in a neighborhood with deed restrictions, you will probably have to get permission from the property association before initiating these projects.
Additionally, with a single-family home, you can build out additions on as long as you can get the permits. Maybe you have aging parents you want near you. If they don’t want to live in the same house, you can add on an in-law apartment, guest house on the property, or even add a bedroom suite to your house. If you start out small but decide to have more kids than you originally planned, you can add more bedrooms to a single-family house.
If you plan on adding to your property, you probably want to avoid restricted deed neighborhoods.
Single-family homes are usually better for entertaining as they have more room inside and out. With a single-family house, you can add decks and porches to your specifications. You can even create an outdoor living area complete with a kitchen and screened in patio that you can enjoy yourself or for entertaining large groups. If you do enjoy entertaining, a home with an open floor plan makes gatherings more comfortable because you don’t have walls creating smaller spaces. People can mingle throughout the living room, dining room, kitchen and den areas. Adding French doors out to the deck or patio makes your entertaining space even larger.
Purchasing a house on a budget can be difficult for even the most diligent property buyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you create an effective homebuying budget and reduce the temptation to spend beyond your means to acquire your ideal residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a property buying budget.
1. Examine Your Finances Closely
Your income, everyday expenses and other financial factors may impact your ability to buy a house. Therefore, you should analyze your finances closely to determine how much you can spend on a residence.
Once you evaluate your finances, you can establish a price range for your home search. Next, you can kick off a house search and move one step closer to acquiring your dream house.
2. Get Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a three-digit number based on your outstanding debt, length of credit history and other factors. It may have a major impact on your ability to secure home financing and establish a successful homebuying budget. As such, you should review your credit score and work to improve it before you enter the housing market.
To obtain your credit score, you can request a copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You are eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report annually from each credit reporting bureau. Thus, you should take advantage of this complimentary perk and obtain your credit report as soon as you can.
If you identify outstanding debt on your credit report, you should work to pay this off. Or, if you find errors on your credit report, you should contact the bureau that provided the report to fix these mistakes.
3. Meet with Lenders
Banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you to discuss various home financing options. If you consult with these lenders, you may be better equipped than ever before to create a successful homebuying budget before you launch a house search.
Ultimately, lenders can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you get a mortgage prior to searching for a house, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a residence. Then, you can speed up your home search and discover your dream house faster than ever before.
As you get ready to begin your quest for your ideal residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can put you in touch with top lenders in your area and help you secure home financing. Furthermore, a real estate agent can tailor a home search to your property buying budget. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you negotiate with a seller's agent to ensure you can get the best price on any home, at any time.
Create an effective homebuying budget – use the aforementioned tips, and you can establish a property buying budget and use it to streamline your home search.
Creating an offer to purchase a home may require several minutes, hours or days – it all depends on the buyer. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to accelerate the process of putting together a homebuying proposal that will get a seller's attention. These include:
1. Study the Housing Market Closely
When it comes to preparing an offer to purchase a house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. If you analyze the real estate market closely, you can gain the housing sector insights you need to craft a competitive homebuying proposal.
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area, along with how long these residences were available before they sold. With this information in hand, you can determine whether the current housing market favors buyers or sellers and craft your offer to purchase accordingly.
Analyze a house's age and condition as well. By doing so, you can account for the state of a house as you put together an offer to purchase.
2. Maintain Flexibility
Although you may be in a hurry to acquire your dream residence, a seller may need time to find a new place to live. As such, you should maintain flexibility as you craft your offer to purchase and be ready to accommodate a seller's requests.
Ultimately, it is important for a home sale agreement to meet the needs of both a buyer and seller. If you consider the seller's perspective as you create an offer to purchase, you may be better equipped than ever before to craft a homebuying proposal that works well for both you and a seller.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – creating an offer to purchase a house can be challenging, particularly for a buyer who is putting together a homebuying proposal for the first time. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide who can help you craft a competitive offer to purchase in no time at all.
A real estate agent is happy to provide you with homebuying insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. He or she can offer recommendations and suggestions as you prepare a homebuying proposal. Plus, a real estate agent can help you submit an offer to purchase and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.
Let's not forget about the support a real estate agent provides after you submit an offer to purchase, either. If your homebuying proposal is approved, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase. Or, if your offer to purchase is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the housing market so you can discover your dream house. In the event a seller counters your offer to purchase, a real estate agent can help you determine the best course of action, too.
Ready to submit an offer to purchase your ideal residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble submitting a competitive homebuying proposal and acquiring your dream house.
Ready to kick off your search for the perfect house? You may need to find an expert real estate agent first. By doing so, you can streamline the homebuying process and discover a house that meets or exceeds your expectations.
However, selecting a real estate agent can be tricky, especially for first-time homebuyers. And if you make the incorrect choice, the risk increases that you may encounter problems as you conduct your search for the ideal residence.
We're here to take the guesswork out of finding the right real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at four questions that every homebuyer needs to ask a real estate agent.
1. What is your real estate experience?
Learn about a real estate agent's housing market experience – you'll be glad you did. With this information at your disposal, you can find out how a real estate professional has helped past homebuyers achieve their goals.
Also, ask a real estate agent about how he or she deals with homebuying challenges. This will enable you to find out whether a real estate agent can help homebuyers through tough times, or if a real estate professional struggles when he or she is faced with homebuying hurdles.
2. How do you communicate with clients?
As a homebuyer, it is essential to find a real estate agent who is readily available. This real estate professional will keep in touch with you at each stage of the homebuying journey and ensure you can make informed decisions along the way.
A real estate agent who prioritizes communication will keep you informed about open houses and new residences as they reach the housing market. As such, this real estate agent may help you accelerate the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
3. Can you provide client references?
Typically, an experienced real estate agent will be able to provide client references at any time. If you get in touch with these references, you can gain firsthand insights into what it might be like if you select a particular real estate agent.
If a real estate agent cannot provide client references, this is a surefire red flag. In this scenario, you may want to consider other real estate agents who have proven they know how to deal with potential roadblocks on the homebuying journey.
4. Why should I hire you?
When it comes to finding the right real estate agent, it is important to understand how a real estate professional stands out from the crowd. By asking a real estate agent why you should hire him or her, you're sure to receive a unique response that gives you a better idea about what this real estate professional is all about.
Spend some time reviewing multiple real estate agents in your city and town. And if you use the aforementioned questions, you can boost your chances of hiring a real estate agent who can help you discover your dream residence quickly and effortlessly.