Do you ever watch prospective homebuyers on reality TV shows and yell at the screen, “WHAT are you thinking?” Just because you know what a kitchen backsplash is doesn’t mean you’re prepared to buy a new house.
Buying a new or used home can be an intense, detail-oriented process. However, the more you know ahead of time, the much better off you’ll be. From financial tips to pros vs. cons, here are 10 tips for buying a new home:
1- Be certain you can afford to buy a home. No two people or families are in the exact same situation, which is why being realistic is vital. Use the tools available, such as a home ownership calculator, to make a sound judgment.
2- Know your credit score. The “American Dream” can become a crushing nightmare if you discover you have poor credit. First, get approved for a loan. Then you can let your imagination get the best of you.
3- Get first-time homebuyer education. There’s no magic pill for instant knowledge. Luckily, learning still does the trick, even in fast-paced 2012. Seminars offered by a wide array of organizations will walk you through the process, from prep work to routine maintenance.
4- Find a realtor who meets your needs. Some strive to sell their home as efficiently as possible as they prepare to have a custom home built. Others are looking for the most creative, off-the-wall fixer-upper they can find. Either way, don’t forget that realtors are paid to understand this complicated process.
5- Choose the right neighborhood. Utah is a wonderful place to live, so building a home in Lehi or building a home in Draper, for instance, is a pretty safe bet. But what if your haste lands you in a house heavy on charm and light on location, location, location? You’ll be driving 45 minutes to work and or the nearest park for your kids. Yikes.
6- Take advantage of technology — and tours. Whether at a model home or via a virtual home tour, it’s easier and more effective than ever to do research to help ensure you’ll be happy. After all, love matters when buying a home!
7- Use caution when searching for bargains. It’s easy to lose your head amid pages and pages of house bargains. Just keep in mind that sometimes short sales and foreclosures aren’t the best option. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons, including necessary repairs, waiting time, etc. Always keep in mind that the best value is always encompasses multiple variables.
8- Learn how home offers work. Amid the excitement of floor plans and potential renovations, people often forget a key component: understanding and properly handling a home offer. The technical side of an offer is key, as are the questions you ask before spouting that first number.
9- Hire a home inspector. It may not seem important at the beginning of the process, but as you get closer to actually purchasing that house you’ve been eyeing, the need for a trustworthy home inspector will become more and more obvious.
10- Have a plan. Before you know it, your home offer will be accepted and the process will wrap up — sometimes more quickly than you expect. So it helps to have a contingency plan. Everything from an “escape plan” from your current living situation to move-in help.
These 10 tips for buying a new home will provide a good base of knowledge. For additional information about home building and buying in Lehi, St. George, Draper, Salt Lake City and beyond, visit ivoryhomes.com.