If you want to buy a house, it pays to enter the real estate market with a checklist in hand. That way, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Now, let's take a look at three things to include in your homebuying checklist.
1. Your Budget
Your budget will dictate whether you're able to afford a condo, luxury home or something in-between. As such, you'll want to assess your finances closely as you determine exactly what type of house that you can afford.
Oftentimes, it helps to get a copy of your credit report. You are eligible to receive one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). If you know your credit score, you can determine whether now is a good time to enter the real estate market, or whether you should improve your credit score first.
You may want to consult with several banks and credit unions too. These financial institutions can teach you about various mortgage options and help get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, once you have a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house and tailor your home search accordingly.
2. Where You Want to Live
Living in the suburbs is very different from residing in the city. Therefore, you'll want to consider where you want to live so that you can search for a home in specific areas.
For example, if you prefer the peace and quiet of a small town, you may want to consider houses in small towns in the state of your choice. These towns may feature dozens of available homes. Plus, in many instances, small town houses are priced lower than big city residences.
Or, if you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city, you can search for residences in any city, at any time. These houses likely will ensure that you'll have quick, easy access to a variety of big city attractions and landmarks.
3. Real Estate Agent
There is no telling whether you're about to enter a seller's or buyer's market, as the housing sector often fluctuates. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can increase the likelihood of a quick, successful homebuying experience, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.
A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success and will do what it takes to help you find the right home, at the right price. He or she will learn about your homebuying goals and offer expert insights into the real estate market. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is available to address them.
For those who want to streamline the homebuying process, it helps to hire a real estate agent. And if you hire a real estate agent today, you can get the assistance that you need to make your homeownership dream come true.
Get started on your homebuying checklist, and you can simplify the process of acquiring your ideal residence.
0 Old West Brookfield Rd L:37, Warren, MA 01083
The lifetime warranty. We’ve all heard about the wonders of owning an item with a lifetime warranty, but few of us actually own such products. Well, few of us are aware of it anyway.
The home is where we pour most of our money into. It seems like things are constantly breaking and needing to be replaced or repaired. But few of us check to see if the item has a manufacturer’s warranty. Nor do we remember if we bought an extended warranty.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to take advantage of warranties you may not know that you have, and how to shop wisely for warrantied products in the future.
But first, we’ll impart some general warranty knowledge.
Understanding the warranty
A warranty is a written guarantee provided to the purchaser of an item that they will repair or replace the item if it isn’t functioning as intended.
In most cases, there are time limits and exceptions to a warranty. Manufacturers know that their products won’t really last forever, so they plan for the eventual breakdown of the product from wear and tear.
Similarly, manufacturers don’t want you to misuse the product and then ask for a replacement, so they list exceptions to their warranties. To find out if one of your household items is under warranty, you can often check the manufacturer’s website.
To ensure you’re eligible for a warranty or replacement, it’s often necessary to have a copy of your purchase receipt which shows where and when you bought the item.
We know--keeping track of receipts is an annoyance few of us want to participate in. So, an easier solution is to keep an app like Google Drive or Dropbox on your phone with a folder called “receipts” or “warranties.” Then, the next time you make a purchase, simply snap a photo of the receipt and keep in in your drive.
Extended warranty warning
Many retailers will pitch you an extended warranty when you buy a product. Some of them are worth it, but most of the time you’re better off foregoing these add-ons.
Oftentimes, products are already covered by a manufacturer warranty. And, in some cases, the cost of the item is so low that owning a protection plan isn’t worthwhile.
Warrantied items you may not know about
Now that you know how to keep track of your warranties, let’s talk about some important items that you may not know has a warranty.
Roofing. Roofs are expensive and don’t last forever. However, many manufacturers promise 20 years of good service from your shingles.
Vinyl siding. Another expensive exterior item, siding is often warrantied by common manufacturers, including several “limited lifetime warranties.”
Tupperware. If there’s one product on this list you’ve probably heard of, it’s Tupperware. They’ve been famous for their lifetime warranties for decades.
Pampered Chef. This company makes an array of kitchen related products. Many of their items come with lifetime warranties.
Craftsman. Their power tools are affordable and include a lifetime warranty.
116 Fiske Hill Rd, Sturbridge, MA 01566
Whether you're looking for your first house, a vacation home, or a retirement condo, there's always an element of excitement in finding a new place you can call your own!
Although buying and selling real estate can be stressful, especially if you've never done it before, being prepared and knowing what to expect can help keep things on an even keel.
Similar to planning a vacation or a cross-country trip, you'll want to avoid missed connections, frustrating delays, and wasted time. When it comes to buying a home, a little research, planning, and expert advice can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth journey. Here are a few specifics:
Check your credit score: Your credit rating has a major impact on your ability to successfully apply for a mortgage and be offered a relatively low interest rate. Knowing your credit rating can help you understand your options, avoid unexpected surprises, and take action to correct errors in your credit report or improve your credit profile.
Prepare a wish list: One of the keys to getting what you want in a new home is to clarify and prioritize the features that matter the most to you. Your checklist can include everything from lot size and architectural style to the reputation of the school district and proximity to stores. Some house hunters also place a high value on features like a fireplace, screened-in porch, and an open floor plan.
Find a good real estate agent: A buyers' agent can provide you with an immense amount of help in finding properties for sale that meet your specifications. They can also provide assistance, advice, and guidance on the many steps involved in going from loan applicant to new home owner. An experienced agent can also negotiate the best possible deal, in terms of price, seller concessions, and other advantages.
Meet with mortgage lenders: A crucial step in preparing to become a homeowner is understanding the mortgage application process, knowing how much banks would be willing to lend you, and determining an affordable price range. Meeting with lenders is also the first step to comparing interest rates and choosing a financial institution that would best suit your needs. Here's a helpful tip from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: "Getting a preapproval letter helps you show sellers that you are a serious buyer – but it doesn’t commit you to a lender."
When it comes to searching for and buying a house, probably the best advice anyone could give you is "stay the course!" Let's face it: It's easy to give up, get discouraged, or settle for a home that's less than what you really want. However, when you adopt a "stay the course" mindset, you'll do a better job of staying motivated, focused, and well organized until you find just the right home for you, your family, and your future!