Leicester Ma Real Estate-Serving all of Worcester County
Buying a home for sale is probably the most significant financial investment you will ever make. Before you take the leap, you need to do your homework and make sure you are really ready. Here are five things you need to do before you call a realtor and start shopping for a home.
#1. Check Your Credit Score
Even if you think your credit profile is spotless, it is important to pull a copy of your report and your three-digit credit score. Credit bureaus make mistakes all the time, and an error on your credit report could have profound implications on your home search.
If your credit file contains errors, you could be charged more for your mortgage, or even be turned down altogether. If the black marks on your credit profile are legitimate, knowing where you stand now will give you a goal to work toward. Improving your credit score before you start shopping for a home is a move that could save you money for decades to come.
#2. Set (and Stick to) Your Price Range
Knowing how much home you can afford is absolutely vital. Do not rely on the real estate agent to set a price range for your search – they may try to maximize their commission by pushing you into a pricier property. Instead, do the calculations yourself – there are plenty of mortgage calculators where you can run the numbers.
Do not forget about the other associated costs of home ownership – things like real estate taxes and home repairs. Those costs can really add up, and your budget needs to be big enough to handle them. It is better to buy a home for less than your maximum price rather than stretching to make the payments on a more expensive property.
#3. Research the Local Neighborhoods
You may already know where you want to live, but it is still a good idea to research some of the local neighborhoods. Things like crime statistics, the performance of the local school district and real estate taxes will have an impact on your quality of life, but those factors will also influence the future value of the property.
If you have a family or plan to start one, the quality of the local school district may be your biggest concern. If the schools are bad, you may need to budget for a pricey private school, and that will influence how much you can afford to spend on the monthly mortgage payment.
#4. Create a Home Buying Checklist
Before you start shopping, you should create a checklist of things you want. You may want to make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves to make shopping easier.
The home you buy does not have to meet every wish you specify, but the closer to the mark you get the less renovations you will have to do later. Do not be in a hurry to find the home of your dreams – it can take some time to find the perfect property.
#5. Have the Home Inspected
There is no substitute for a thorough home inspection. Whether you are buying a starter home or moving up to your dream home, you need to look for hidden damage.
Do not rely on the home inspection the seller may have done. It is important to have an independent home inspector check out the house and provide you with a full report. Depending on the results of the inspection, you will have gained some bargaining power – or avoided a costly mistake.
Buying a home can seem like a scary experience, especially if you have never done it before. Knowing that you are prepared before you start shopping can reduce your stress level and help you find a home that truly meets your needs – and your budget. Let S & R Properties help you through the process.