Tips & Advice for Buying a Michigan Home
Buying a home is a life changing decision - one which should be made carefully and with full understanding. The process is often an exciting time – especially for first-time homeowners – but it can also be overwhelming.
It is easy to avoid the potential pitfalls and frustrations buying a home can bring, if you have the right information – and the right realtor! Educating yourself about the process of buying a home is the best thing you can do, second only to choosing a trustworthy realtor who’s “on your side”. A good realtor will help to educate you in all elements of the buying process, helping you gain a peace of mind about your decisions, from searching for a home to closing – and beyond.
These are a few tips we offer to home buyers to help them be more educated about the process of looking for and buying a new home.
- Get preapproved for financing! Before you begin shopping for a home, be sure you know what you can afford. Interview lenders to find out mortgage rates and programs are best suited for you. Choose a lender who pays close attention to what you are financially comfortable with, so that you won’t be burdened by a monthly payment that’s more than you can afford.
- Lay out specific goals for your new home purchase. What do you need and want from your new home? Consider location, available school districts, home style, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage size, yard size and other special home features which may be important to you. Knowing what your goals are ahead of time will help you make better purchase decisions – and they may make shopping easier, as well.
- Ask questions about what you’re signing. The purchase contract is binding, and it’s important that you and your realtor are crystal clear on what you want out of the purchase before signing anything. If you don’t understand any aspects of the paperwork, ask!
- Choose a reputable home inspector. A good inspector will help you identify potential problem areas in a home before purchasing, saving you from repair costs or making unwise purchase decisions. Your realtor should be able to provide good home inspector referrals.
- Choose a real estate agent with whom you feel comfortable developing a relationship. It’s important that you feel confident your agent is looking out for your best interest throughout the purchase transaction. A good agent should:
- Thoroughly understand your needs and long term real estate goals
- Be familiar with the areas in which you’re searching, including market values of surrounding areas
- Be able to identify property conditions that may be a concern for purchase or resale down the line
- Not be timid when it comes to negotiating on your behalf. There are many aspects of the home buying process which require negotiation, from price to closing to move in date. You want your realtor to be on your team!