Get the most out of your money with these handy home-buying tips
Don’t try to time the market. Trying to anticipate the housing market is impossible! the best time for you to buy is when you find your perfect home and you can afford it.
Avoid sleeper costs. Most people just focus on their mortgage payment, but you will also need to be aware of all the other expenses such as property taxes, utilities and HOA dues.
The secret science of bidding. Your opening bid should be based on two things:
1) what you can afford,
2) what you believe the property is worth.
Stalk the neighborhood. Before you buy a home drop by the neighborhood in the morning, noon and night. Drive by the house at all hours of the day and see what’s happening in the neighborhood.
Give your house a physical. You would not buy a car without checking under the hood. Neither should you buy a home without an inspection. Hire a home inspector: it will cost you about $200-300, but could end up saving you thousands of dollars.
Get pre-approved for your home loan. There’s a big difference between a pre-qualified and pre-approved mortgage buyers. Pre-approved means a lender has looked at your financial information and let you know how much you can afford and how much they are willing to lend you.
Bigger is not always better. Bigger is usually not better when it comes to houses. Sometimes it is best to buy the worst house on the block, for the worst house per sq.ft. trades for more than the biggest house.
You are buying the house, not dating it! If you fall in love with something, you might make a bad financial decision. It’s a big difference between your emotions and your instincts. Go with your instinct, recognize that you are getting a great house for a good value. Stay calm and be wise!
Keep your money where it is. No major purchases or moving your money around 3-6 months before buying a home.