Four Things Every Home Buyer Should Know


Four Things Every Home Buyer Should Know
By Allison Stewart, RE Broker, St Cloud Homes, LLC
Buying a home is a big decision. When preparing to purchase a home, there are a few important steps you can take which will make the process flow more seamlessly and cause less stress.
The first step in buying a home to to know how much home you can afford. You can visit the loan officer at the bank you do business with, and in a few minutes they will be assess your credit. Things they consider are: Employment, income, debt, and your ability to repay a loan based on your credit history. Once they have established that you are credit-worthy, ask for a letter of Pre-Approval. They will provide you with one which you will need as the process progresses. There is no charge for them to evaluate your credit worthiness.
Once you have determined how much you can qualify for, then you can begin to think about what you need and what you want in a home. How many bedrooms do you need? How many bathrooms? Do you want a vintage home, or a newer home? Do you want to live in a subdivision or in the city? What amenities are important to you? Consider things like schools, hospitals, distance you are willing to travel to work, and proximity to supermarkets, banks, and recreational points of interest. Do I want a home in Kissimmee Florida or St Cloud Florida?
Studies have shown that 90% of home buyers begin their search on the Internet. On average they will browse online for four-six months prior to purchasing their home. While shopping online can be very helpful, the various sites are not always “live” and up to date. The home market changes rapidly. Homes can be listed and under contract within a day or two if they are desirable. It is wise to consult with a licensed Realtor® who has access to “live” MLS status updates.
Step Two: Finding the “right fit” with a Realtor® is very important. You need to feel comfortable with whomever you choose. You can only work with one. Realtors® abide by a Code of Ethics. One of the first questions they will ask is: “Are you are working with anyone currently?” The Code of Ethic does not permit Realtors® from interfering with an existing relationship. So finding a Realtor® you feel comfortable with is very important.
Step Three: Narrowing down the search for the right home. Depending on your price range, most buyers are looking for a three bedroom, two bath home between 1000-2000 square feet for under $130,000. That means you have competition for homes based on the current levels of inventory. Using up to date information, your Realtor will be able to ascertain which homes meet your needs and wants, which are currently available and can schedule showing appointments at your convenience. It is best to try and view several in one outing.
Step Four: Once you found the home you like the best, and can envision yourself living there, be prepared to write an offer. The current market is moving briskly, which means while you are “thinking about it” someone else is acting on it. Again, being mindful that there are other buyers competing for the same homes you may want. The current Real Estate Market conditions have shot from a buyers market to a sellers market, due to the reduced volume of available homes. Selling prices are averaging at 97% of asking price, which is not a lot of “wiggle room”. Short sales which have been pre-negotiated have no “wiggle room”, the lender has already established what they will accept. If you want the house, make your offer attractive to the seller.
These four basic steps will help your home buying experience go much more smoothly, less stressfully, and enjoyable.
Allison Stewart,
Real Estate Broker, SFR, CDPE
St.Cloud Homes & Land, LLC