Buying a home is as exciting as it is daunting. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, there is so much to think about and consider. It’s normal to worry about making the wrong decision, but with some careful consideration you can end up with a great deal in a great home.
As it is with any big purchase, a little research goes a long way. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from home buyers so you can enter your home buying process prepared.
1. Do I Need to Sell My Current Home Before Purchasing a New One?
If you’re a current homeowner looking to buy, you have a very important decision to make: sell first or buy first. This is a top frequently asked question from home buyers. There’s no definitive answer to this one. There are pros and cons to each and ultimately you have to decide what will be best for you and your family.
If you sell your home first, you’ll have plenty of negotiating power for the new home you’re trying to buy. Many sellers are happy to close quickly. The downside is not having somewhere to live until you purchase a new home. There are options to continue renting your old home from the new owners for a period of time, but it could turn off some potential buyers.
On the other hand, if you buy a home first, you might be stuck paying two mortgages. There’s no telling how long it will take to sell your home. You have the option to purchase your new home on the contingency that your old one will sell, but impatient sellers might end up canceling the sale and looking for a non-contingent buyer.
2. Should I Talk to a Bank Before House Hunting?
Whether you choose to get a mortgage loan from a bank or a certified lending institution, talking to a financial professional is always the first step in the house-hunting process. Many realtors and sellers won’t take you seriously if you haven’t been pre-approved for a loan.
Plus, your lender can offer insight into all the financial responsibilities associated with buying a home. They will help you understand what you can afford to purchase and demystify things like a down payment, prepaid items, closing costs, and escrow. A lender is well-versed in current programs like those for first-time buyers or members of the military, to ensure that you’re getting the best rates that are available to you.
3. How Much Can I Afford?
Getting pre-approved feels like the go-ahead to make an offer on any home that falls within that pre-approved number. But just because your bank says they’ll lend you that much, doesn’t mean you should spend that much on a home.
You need to review your budget and decide how much you want to spend on your mortgage every month. This will give you an idea of what price range you should be looking at. Don’t forget to use your previous bills to inform how much you could end up spending a month in addition to your new mortgage.
4. Do I Need a Realtor?
Whether it is possible to purchase a home without a realtor is a frequently asked question from home buyers. The answer is yes, but if you’re not familiar with all the paperwork, fees, and contracts involved in the buying process, it could be much more difficult. Your realtor is there to support and help you through this home buying process. They will locate the homes, work with the listing agent to schedule showings, and negotiate when you’re ready to make an offer. They are aware of trends in the market and can advise you when something is listed too high or when you should make an offer.
That being said, not all realtors are the same. If you’re not happy with your realtor, feel free to find a new one that better meets your needs.
5. Should I Consider a Short Sale or Foreclosure?
Another entry on our list of frequently asked questions from home buyers is whether or not they should consider a short sale or foreclosure. If you’re looking for a steal and not afraid of a little remodeling, either option could be a great choice. Both properties are on the market because the homeowner is unable to make their mortgage payments which often results in homes at a reduced price. The downside is, these homes are often sold as-is and will require some work to be move-in ready.
Of the two options, a short sale is probably the more challenging one to work with. Despite its name, short sales can take a long time. These are properties in which the homeowner owes more on their loan than the house is worth. Foreclosures tend to be a little more straightforward. They are owned by the lender and the previous homeowner is not involved in the sale.
6. How is the Neighborhood?
You’ve found a house that you love, but before you make an offer, you need to consider the neighborhood. Where you live is about more than the walls that surround you. This is one of the crucial frequently asked questions from home buyers. You need to look into the community. Your realtor will likely be able to give you answers and guide you to a neighborhood that fits your needs. Here are some questions to ask:
- What is the crime rate?
- How is the school system?
- Is public transportation an option?
- What are the taxes like?
7. What is the History of Home Upgrades?
Many people choose their new home based primarily on aesthetics. Don’t forget to look at the less attractive details, too, to make sure you’re not buying a home with a lot of problems. You should first check on home necessities like the roof, HVAC, and water heater. Find out when they were last replaced and if they have any existing issues. If the appliances are included in the sale, take a look at how old they are. If you need to replace them, that should be factored into your offer.
In this age of DIY home projects, another thing to inspect is updates or additions that were made to the home. You should find out if the projects were done by a certified contractor or the homeowner and whether they were inspected. This is one of the frequently asked questions from home buyers that can save you from having to repair issues from home projects down the road.
Call Motivated Sellers
When you decide to purchase a home, there are many questions that run through your mind. We hope this list of top frequently asked questions from home buyers has given you plenty to think about and prepare for your home-buying journey. At Call Motivated Sellers, we not only provide cold calling services, but we use our years of experience in the real estate industry to inform buyers, sellers, and agents alike!
Are you interested in working with us or learning more about the services we offer? Contact our team today, and let’s talk!