The Blog ofHome Sweet Marin

5 Tips for Buying a Home

Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get your finances in order.

If you plan to get a loan, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. Talk to me about options for mortgage brokers and lenders. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.

Find a house you can afford.

Talk with your lender about what payments you feel comfortable making. Ask them for how your financial picture will differ with various loan options. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Hire a professional.

While the Internet 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 Realtor than going it alone. You will want an agent who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding and negotiating process.

Do your homework.

Learn about neighborhoods, flood zones, traffic patterns and resale value. Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.

Think long term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. 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. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.