First time or frequent buyer, here is advice to heighten your home-buying experience.
“When buying a home, buyers often have many questions running through their mind,” wrote Joey Marino, president of Stark County Association of Realtors last year when he posted an article about “Security Tips for Homebuyers” at the association’s website.
Marino cited questions about buying instead of renting, the need for a good credit score, figuring what’s needed for a down payment and deciding how much house the buyer can afford.
“One topic you may not think about when buying a home is what security tips you should follow,” wrote Marino, noting that the topic was timely early last fall because “September is Safety Month.”
Well, it’s just as timely in 2020, and we’ll return to talk about Marino’s safety tips.
But, first let’s allow other real estate authorities to address some of the other topics for which buyers, especially first-time buyers, express concern.
Beginning a Search
Cutler Real Estate, which has offices in Stark County, provides at its website a number of “first steps” in buying a home, perhaps the most important of which include determining if you even want to own your residence instead of renting, and if so, deciding to start early to save for this most important purchase.
When that choice is made, it’s time for prep work, which includes a homeowner defining his or her goals.
“Break out the yellow notepad and make a list of all your wants and needs,” the advice collection suggests. “What is it that your dream home absolutely has to have, and what are the things that you could live without?”
Only after that groundwork is laid would a homebuyer be ready to pick an agent and begin the search.
Cutler’s advice is to “stick to your budget” while you look for that home of your dreams.
“When you find a home that you love, it might be tempting to put in a high price offer that’s sure to win,” Cutler’s tips note. “But don’t spread yourself too thin—stick to your budget to avoid a mortgage payment you can’t afford. Remember that you made a budget for a reason.”
Credit and Loans
DeHoff Realtors, also with offices in Stark County, reminds buyers at its website that the financial cost of buying a home might not be has heavy a burden as would seem for those believing the company’s list of “Top 10 Myths That Trip Up First-Time Homebuyers.”
“If you’re thinking of buying a home, you’ve probably received your share of advice from family and friends,” notes the “Myths” article, which also includes in the unnerving amount of “information to sift through” advice from television shows and social media posts.
“It can be tough to distinguish between fact and fiction,” DeHoff officials tell homebuyers in the article, offering to help by “revealing the truth behind some of the most common homebuyer myths and misconceptions.”
A major myth, the real estate agency notes, is that “fixer-uppers are more budget friendly.” Perhaps, but not necessarily.
“Sometimes, homes that need a lot of work also require a lot of money,” the DeHoff article explained. “Big renovations, like add-ons, a total kitchen remodel or installing a pool, take a lot longer than it looks on TV.
“If you’re really interested in a fixer-upper, ask your agent to show you a mix of newer homes and older homes. If you fall in love with an older home that needs a lot of work, get some quotes from contractors before you buy so you know the real cost of the renovations and see if you can work them into your budget.”
And, while searching, some homebuyers get caught in the myth that “if you look hard enough, you’ll find a home that checks every box on your wish list.”
“Almost every buyer needs to compromise,” said the DeHoff article, which suggested “narrowing that wishlist down to the top five things that are important to you.”
DeHoff information advises to focus on your absolute deal breakers.
Those Safety Concerns
During the search, there are those safety concerns to consider, Marino noted in his Stark County Association of Realtors posting. Make sure your first meeting with a real estate agent is in the agency’s office. Take extra precautions when visiting vacant homes.
Security remains a consideration even after your home is purchased, Marino wrote.
“After you purchase your home, make sure you take safety precautions, such as changing the locks, reset key codes for garage doors, test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, purchase fire extinguishers for the kitchen and each additional floor, etc.,” wrote Marino.
“You will also want to become familiar with the main water shut-off valve, circuit box, gas shut-off and test your sump pump if you have one,” Marino added. “You won’t want to be hunting around for those items during an emergency, and it will save you time and a headache if an emergency or problem arises in the future.”