New Home Buying Tips

By Doherty • February 19th, 2011
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The job of purchasing a new residence can be a challenge. Even the individual who has owned homes before can be overwhelmed. Many people find that finding good information about purchasing a home is difficult to find. At the end of the day, you had to sort through all the conflicting information and determine the best course of action for yourself.

I not too long ago purchased a new home. Here are some helpful suggestions we picked up along the way:

1. Consider using the many internet sites available for discovering home buying data. Almost every state and local government has a internet site where you can research real property information. The data on home sales, taxes, and local communities is very helpful when you are looking for a home. We were able to find out the most recent sale prices in the neighborhood we selected, and we didn’t have to rely on a real estate agent to get the data for us. Doing the research yourself will make you more knowledgeable about the market, which is key to making a good purchase.

2. Sit down before you go looking and determine how much you can afford to spend on a new house. Try to buy a home in a price range that allows you to put down 20%. If you put down less than this, you will have to pay PMI (private mortgage insurance). PMI will protect the lender if you default. You don’t need this additional expense. If you scale down your expectations, that 20% may well be attainable. If this is your first home, you might have to put a lower deposit on the home. If it’s your second house, you should be able to manage the 20%. The proceeds from the sale of my condominium enabled my husband and I to have more than enough for the 20% down payment on our home. You may, nevertheless, wish to put some of the profits from your house sale aside to cover unforeseen moving expenses. We advise that you do the same.

3. A good time to shop for a new home is throughout the winter. Around the holidays is even better. Since most folks just aren’t interested in buying a house when they are attempting to deal with the holiday seasons, you can pretty much be one of the handful of buyers out there. We purchased our home right before Christmas, and it was undoubtedly a buyers market. We had our choice of houses and were able to underbid on the asking price, even though we live in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.

4. Use a smaller mortgage company that can offer individual service. Folks tend to go with large, well-known mortgage companies, since that’s all they know. But the smaller sized, regional companies offer excellent client service, and can often give you better rates than the big companies. The smaller companies depend on word-of-mouth and don’t market themselves so they have to do good work to retain their customers. We started off with a big-name firm, but in the end, we went with a local company because they had better interest rates and much better customer service.

5. Always have a house inspection. I think most people understand this fact already, but it is really important in areas with a hot real estate market. It can be easy to buy your dream home at a fire-sale price and neglect the inspection. It is not unusual to hear of folks who have waived the inspection so they could get up a good deal. They got the house – and right along with it they got many thousand dollars worth of damage that would have been found in an inspection. As a final note, try to remember that buying a home doesn’t have to be scary. The negative are far out weighed by the benefits of owning your own home. If you follow the advice above, then you should be well-equipped to make it through unscathed.

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