Buying a house is a big step no matter if it’s your first one or a step up. It’s hard to know which house is right for you and your family. Our mortgage department can help.
First and foremost, get pre-qualified, says Kim Gillette, assistant vice president of
Mortgage Production. Not only does it help you know how much you can afford but it shows a seller that you’re serious and ready. Family Trust’s mortgage department can walk you through the process. Or, check out our first-time homebuyer’s guide; it’s full of great information.
Then you can pursue your dream house. Area real estate agents who work closely with Family Trust suggest you start the with the neighborhoods you have in mind.
“In a market where homes go under contract quickly, you almost have to aggressively watch the neighborhoods you want,” according to Kendra Collins, agent with Allen Tate. “Scope out the people who look like they are preparing to move – yard sales, packing up and extensive yard work are all indicators that people may be looking to put their homes on the market.”
Other tips include:
Don’t be scared of ugly (or somewhat-ugly). Lots of buyers want move-in ready homes that are already updated. Yes, the kitchen may not be your favorite, but ask yourself: “Can I clean it up and live with it for a few months” especially if the functional space works. While everyone is not Chip and Joanna Gaines, some kitchen and bathroom updates can be done as DIY projects or bit-by-bit while you save up for them. You also can get contractor recommendations in advance and then make a quick call for an estimate once you are in the home.
Get in early with a fair offer. Make yourself available to look at homes as soon as they come on the market. Take an early lunch or go before work. Work with your agent to get your offer in immediately.
Will this (insert home repair here) work for me and my loan? Many times, the repair process is the most challenging part of buying a home. If you are worried about possible repairs that may affect your ability to get financing, take photos to send to your mortgage lenders before making an offer. With your agent’s help, many (non-cosmetic) repairs can be made by the seller during the buying process.
New or not. When looking at new construction, consider the price you see may not include upgrades. Also, research the quality of the builders and neighborhood values. And be patient; building is more comprehensive and can take longer than normal purchases.
Research schools. State report cards are a great resource for school rankings and additional information. Visit the school, talk to the neighbors with children, etc. when visiting homes.