So, you are home shopping, have found ‘The One,’ and you’re ready to make an offer. Are you sure you know what you’re doing? I mean, of course you know that you plan to make an offer, but do you know what comes with the house that you think you are ready to buy? The odds are good that you have not considered everything, and that you may be in for an unwelcome surprise. This is especially true if you are a first time home buyer.
At Benchmark, we want you to be confident in your decisions. It is part of our mission and dedication to helping our clients fulfill their piece of the American Dream of homeownership. Protect yourself by evaluating factors in these 4 categories before placing your offer.
You should already be pre-approved for a maximum loan amount. Make sure the asking price is fair, and make sure your offer fits well within your tolerances for your pre-approval amount. It’s also a good idea to check the expenses for the house, like utility bills, property tax, insurance, and HOA dues, if applicable. Make sure the monthly financial obligation fits within your range of affordability. Lastly, make sure you have easy/quick access to your funds for a down payment and earnest money. If your offer is accepted, be ready to pounce!
Be really sure you are as aware as you can be of what you’re buying. Take another walkthrough, and bring a bright flashlight, a level, a tape measure, or anything else you think you may need in order to go into a 30 year obligation with eyes wide open. Take a look at the seller’s disclosure, so you are in the loop about any upgrades or repairs that may have been done to the top candidate for your future home. This can help give you an idea of any work that you can avoid doing, or that you may need to get done after you’ve become the new fearless owner of the abode.
Get to know the neighborhood and the general location of the home you have your sights set on. Find the assigned school, its rank, distance from the home, and wether you think it’s a good fit for your family’s values. Check the distance and availability of business you rely on, like gas stations, grocery stores, as well as proximity and availability of entertainment, cafes, and restaurants. How far is it from your place of work? What would your new commute look like? It is important to weigh all of this considerations to prevent a future case of buyer’s remorse.
It can also be a good idea to visit the house at different times of the day, and on different days of the week. This can help give you a feel for the overall culture of the neighborhood, as well as what kinds of noises and activity to expect. Doing this may also give you a better idea of traffic congestion spots. You may also want to consider checking crime in the area, and registered sex offenders who may live nearby. Also be aware of neighborhood amenities provided by the HOA, or community cooperation. Last but not least, meet the neighbors! The best way to get a feel for the neighborhood is to talk to someone who has lived there for awhile already.
Now, Go Make Your Offer!
You have checked the financials, decided that you are prepared, and are aware of the total cost to live in the home you want to buy. You are going in with eyes wide open, fully aware of the school situation, access to resources, and the compatibility of your desired neighborhood. Most importantly, you are aware of any issues present in the house itself, and the work that was recently done.
If you are looking for a house right now, and are preparing ahead of time, great job! Researching the next step before you are there is a display of wisdom. Are you pre-approved? Without being pre-approved, any offer you make is unlikely to be accepted without an approved loan amount, unless you plan to buy in cash. (if so, why are you reading this on a mortgage site? You should be writing your own finance blog!)
If you are looking to get pre-approved, we make it easy. More than that, our expert loan officers will match your goals with the perfect loan for your unique situation. We often refer to ourselves as “The Benchmark Family”, and when you choose to work with us, you become part of it, too. Ready to get started?
Find your Benchmark branch and contact them today for a hassle-free experience.Give us a call or contact us today. At Benchmark, we’ve got your back.Give me a call, send me an email, or request a call today. My team and I will take good care of you.
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