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5 Question to Ask Before Buying a Home

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is a an exciting process. However, there’s also a lot to consider when you decide to buy.

So before you begin your search for the perfect property, here are five questions you should ask yourself.

1) What do I want?

Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy. From single-family and multi-family homes to condos and co-ops, there are many different options on the market and it’s important to choose the type of property that best fits your needs.

Figuring out the town or neighborhood you want to live in is equally important. While a property might have all of the amenities you’re looking for, factors like crime rate and proximity to highways can impact the overall home-owning experience.

A good idea is to list out and prioritize your needs before you begin your search.

You'll also want to think long term and resale potential. Now, obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years but, beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line.

2) What can I afford?

The rule of thumb is that you should never spend more than 30% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. An alternate rule states that you can afford to buy a property that runs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary.

For a more tailored look at what you can afford, use an online mortgage calculator to see what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought a home today.

Also, don’t forget, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, repairs and upkeep, that can often times be unexpected and unplanned for. 

3) Am I financially prepared?

A few months before you start searching for a home, be sure to review your credit history and make sure it is in good standing. Get copies of your credit report and ensure that it’s accurate. If you need to fix any issues be sure to do this before you apply for your mortgage.

You’ll also want to get pre-approved for a home loan, which will put you in the best position to make a serious offer once you find the right property. Pre-approval from a lender is going to be based on your credit history, debt, and income.

4) How do I make the best bid possible?

The easy answer is to ask your Realtor®. But, you'll also want to do your own homework and this is because a good buyer is an informed buyer.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Looking into the average days on market as well as the amount of inventory is going to give you clues into knowing if things are more favorable for sellers or buyers.

Next, you'll want to look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months and come up with an asking price that’s comparable, but also realistic, otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.

5) Do I need my own agent?

I always say, "if its free, its for me" and, since the seller covers both the listing and buyers agent commissions, you won't have to pay anything to get this service.

While the Internet does gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web.

That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. When you do, you'll also get added protection and someone who knows the in's and out's of real estate transactions.

Additionally, your buyers agent will have your interests at heart and can help you formulate strategies to ensure you have the winning bid. 

Well I hope you enjoyed these tips, if you did, be sure to like, comment, subscribe, and share this post! As always, if you have any real estate related question or concerns I'm just a phone call away!


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