Simple “Tips” When Buying Your Dream Home
- Get Pre-approved (not pre-qualified). If you are a first time buyer or you think you may have questionable credit, I recommend you get pre-approved for a loan. Because this is oftentimes the most daunting task of a buying process, it is best taken care of early on in the process. This will help establish a price range for your home search and will help assure that you don’t look at homes either above or below what you can actually afford. Additionally, this makes you look more attractive to a seller in terms of being a “ready, willing and able” buyer.
- Do not focus on price. On a similar note, do not focus excessively on the list price of the home. Sellers usually put their home on the market for good reason. As such they are oftentimes willing to negotiate.
- Be open-minded. Do not put too much emphasis on being in a certain neighborhood or school district. There often are excellent alternatives.
- Establish wants. I recommend that before you start seriously looking for a new home that you create two lists. One that contains qualities you want in a home. And one that contains qualities you do not want in a home. Use these lists during your house hunt to keep track of qualities in each home considered. These lists will help you keep perspective and help you to avoid being seduced by a house that is aesthetically pleasing and in top condition but does not really meet your needs in terms of the space it provides.
- See the big picture. Additionally, do not let minor cosmetic issues, such as worn carpeting, damaged counter tops, or the need for fresh paint, distract from the purchase of a potentially great house. Surface issues are an easy fix and a great way for you to quickly add your own style to a new home.
- Hold in your enthusiasm. Lastly, when you do find your dream home, do not appear to be too enthusiastic about the home in the presence of its owner or the listing agent. In the end, such a mistake can prove quite costly.