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Buyers Tips

Are you ready to buy?


Buying a home will probably be one of the biggest personal investments/decisions one can make. Being organized and having an idea of what you want contribute significantly to getting the best home deal possible with the least amount of stress. It’s important to anticipate the steps required to successfully achieve your housing goal and to build a plan of action that gets you there.

Before you can build a plan of action, take the time to lay the groundwork for your decision-making process. THE FIRST AND SECOND STEPS ARE DECIDING TO BUY AND FINDING THE RIGHT AGENT!!!

Now ask yourself how much you can afford to pay for a home. If you’re not sure on the price range, call us and we will get you a great lender to ask questions and get you get pre-approved. Now that you are Pre-approved you will know exactly what you can afford and allow you to look for homes in your price range. Getting pre-approved also helps you to alleviate some of the anxieties that come with home buying. You know exactly what you qualify for and at what rate, you know how large your monthly mortgage payments will be, and you know how much you will have or need for a down payment. Once you are pre-approved, you avoid the frustration of finding homes that you think are perfect, but are not in your price range.

Now, ask yourself where you want to live and what the best location for you and/or your family is. Things to consider:

  • convenience for all family members
  • proximity to work, school and shopping
  • local transportation
    • style/design
    • number of bedrooms

Now you are under contract after finding the right home it is time of inspections: INSPECTIONS

As a buyer, you are entitled to know exactly what you are getting. Don’t take anything for granted, not even what you see or what the seller or listing agent tells you. A professional home inspection is something you MUST do, whether you are buying an existing home or a new one. An inspection is an opportunity to have an expert look closely at the property you are considering purchasing and getting both an oral and written opinion as to its condition.

Beforehand, make sure the report will be done by a professional organization, such as a local trade organization or a national trade organization such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspection). Not only should you never skip an inspection, but also you should be present with the inspector during the inspection. This gives you a chance to ask questions about the property and get answers that are not biased. In addition, the oral comments are typically more revealing and detailed than what you will find on the written report. Once the inspection is complete, review the inspection report with your agent.

Once the inspection is done you have three options:

  1. Take the home as-is,
  2. Negotiate a new price or
  3. Make a list of repairs the seller needs to do before closing.


It used to be that buyers could go house shopping and make an offer on a property before getting pre-approved but times have changed and the mortgage criteria change all the time making it necessary to get pre-approved beforehand. It also makes the offer to purchase a stronger offer in the seller eyes making it more appealing to accept the offer.

Most lenders can pre-qualify you for a mortgage over the phone or through their website. Be careful before entering your personal information in a random website. They will ask for general information about your income, debt, assets, and credit history. Then lenders can estimate how much you qualify for. However, being pre-qualified and pre-approved are different things. Pre-approval means that you have applied for a mortgage; you have filled out the mortgage application, received your credit report, and verified your employment, assets, etc. When you are pre-approved, you know exactly what the maximum loan amount will be.

A pre-qualified letter is not verified and in essence, does not count for much if you are competing with other buyers who are pre-approved. When you are pre-approved, you and the seller know exactly how much house you can afford. It gives you credibility as an interested buyer and lets the seller know immediately that you will qualify for a loan to buy their property.

In addition to being pre-approved, it’s important to be pre-approved with a legitimate lender. Legitimate lenders include: banks, mortgage bankers, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage brokers, and online lenders.