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Buying a Home: Helpful Tips PDF Print E-mail
First, carefully consider the benefits of owning a home. While purchasing a home can be expensive, it's a sensible investment in your future. Home-buying does more than give one pride of ownership; it also creates a wealth of financial opportunities, from home appreciation, to equity building and tax cuts. Once you've decided that purchasing a home is the right move for you, start the process of finding the right home with confidence and determination. Here are several tips that should help you do just that.

1. Get Pre-Approved

Fiond out as much information as you can about which banks, mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, or credit unions you may be working with to purchase a house. Make suer, above all, that your top choices are all qualified, credible lenders. Check their backgrounds carefully and get an estimate on what types of fees each will charge. Once you've selected a lender, look carefully through your credit history with him or her to insure that you'll have no problem getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan.

2. Narrow Your Search

Before you meet with one of our Wateree Realty agents, you should first define your search parameters. What exactly are you looking for in a home? What type of house would best serve your needs? In what neighborhood and school district would you like to resettle? What type of budget and financing options are you working with, and what sort of flexibility do you have in this regard? It's a good idea to come up with general answers to these types of questions before going any further in this process.

3. Be Prepared

By the time you sit down with one of our agents, you're already halfway through the process. Be prepared: buying a home can take a lot less time than you may think. Motivated home-buyers typically find what they're looking for within 1-2 weeks of beginning their search; for some, it's a matter of days. When planning a day of visiting homes with a Waterwee agent, make sure to eat right beforehand. Studies show that memory retention improves after a high-carb meal; conversely, it declines after consuming too much sugar. And you'll need all the memory retention you can get to recall specific details after visiting upwards of seven homes in a single day.

4. Inventory Visits

When touring homes for sale with your agent, always take a camera (preferably digital) with you. Preparing a detailed photo-record of the homes you visit is one of the best tips we can suggest. As you begin touring each new house, photograph a close-up of the address number - later, you'll be able to identify clearly where each group of home pictures begins and ends in your photo record. Take copious notes, too, about the specific features of each house and the impressions they left on you. Try to include some description of the home's surroundings. How do the neighbor's homes look, for instance? Are there any other notable features on the street? It's a good idea to rate each home on a scale of 1-10 after each visit, too. These detailed records will help you to make sense of each house visit long after it has ended.

5. Square Footage

Most South Carolina MLS listings include square footage, so it's important that you know how to interpret these details. It may be obvious to state that larger spaces usually offer more room; what is less obvious is that many larger homes tend to cost less per square foot than smaller ones. However, be careful not to be misled by square footage. A home's layout is often as (or more) important than its size. Smaller, well-designed spaces can often seem more roomy than larger spaces with inconvenient floor plans.

6. View Top Choices Twice

After reviewing your records and talking with your agent, set up some time to view your top-rated houses a second time. Impressions can change from the first to the second viewing. Your Wateree agent, meanwhile, can be checking with the listing agent to find out if the seller is particularly motivated and whether anyone else has submitted an offer for the house. If your second viewing measures up and the house is still open, make an offer. Timing is key. What's here today, sadly, may be gone tomorrow, so act quick!

7. Conduct Thorough Inspection

Make sure that the engineer, home contractor, or inspecting service you select to conduct the inspection is established, credible, and has done many inspections before. Ask him to be thorough, and indicate any concerns you may have from your tours of the house. And always make your offer contingent upon an inspection.

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