I think we’re following all 5 of these steps in our personal home buying journey! It is critical to understand all the costs that go into owning a home, from the purchase through the maintenance, especially when buying an older home. And an inspection is key (look for an upcoming post on that topic!). These are great steps for all home buyers.

07-18-Secrets-For-Buying-A-Home-ArticleBetween finding the right house, to filling out paperwork and figuring out financing, buying a home can sometimes seem a like confusing process. But it doesn’t always have to be. Whether you’re planning on buying a house for the first time or you’re a seasoned home buyer, here are 5 secrets to help make your home buying experience a little simpler.

Understand All of the Costs that Go Into Owning a Home

In some ways, buying a house and buying a car are similar. When you buy a car, it’s understood that you’ll be paying for more than just the sticker price of the vehicle; you’ll have to pay for gas, insurance, maintenance costs and taxes.

Houses are very similar, in that you will end up paying for much more than the sale price of the home. It’s important to consider the total cost of homeownership before you begin looking for a house. Buying a home comes with closing costs, property taxes, mortgage insurance and more.

To read more about the costs of homeownership, see our blog, Important Costs to Keep In Mind When Buying A Home.

Getting Prequalified Will Make the Process Simpler

The last thing you want to happen is to find the house of your dreams, only to later learn that you can’t afford it. That’s just one of the reasons why getting prequalified should be your starting point when you’re ready to buy a house – it can save you time and prevent potential house hunting disappointments.

Getting prequalified means meeting with a lender and determining your budget based on information like your credit, income, assets and debts. Once you’re prequalified, you’ll have the advantage of only looking at houses within your price range. Additionally, sellers often see prequalified homebuyers as more serious than buyers who aren’t prequalified, knowing that they can expect fewer delays. This can help you when it comes to negotiating power.

Don’t Rush

Wouldn’t it be great if most of us could find the perfect house overnight that we loved and could afford? The reality is that it usually takes longer than that, which is why it’s important to be patient. Buying a house is one of the most important financial decisions that you’ll ever make. If you’re in a hurry to buy, you may accidentally overlook potential problems and could end up settling for a house that you won’t be happy with in the long run.

One way to avoid getting bogged down by home shopping is to set aside time each week dedicated specifically to looking at listings. Take a look at your schedule to see where you’re most flexible. If weekends usually work best for you, set a realistic goal of a certain number of homes you’d like to look at each Saturday or Sunday within a set number of weeks.

Getting a Home Inspection Is A Must

Getting a professional home inspection before you buy could help you save a lot of money. There are many issues that you might not be able to catch by simply looking at a listing, like roofing or electrical wiring issues.

Hiring an inspector will reveal any issues that require repair or replacement. Inspectors examine a home’s structure, exterior, roofing, plumbing, electrical wiring, heating, air conditioning and much more. If the inspector notices anything that needs to be fixed, the issue(s) can be negotiated between you and the seller. Read more about home inspections on our blog, Why Get A Home Inspection?

Do Research Before Bidding

Before you make an offer on a house, you want to know as much as you can regarding the current market in which you’re planning to buy. You’ll first want to know how competitive the market is and how much nearby homes are going for, which is information that your real estate agent should be able to help you with.

On top of that, you should find out how long the home you’re interested in has been listed for. If it’s been for sale for a while, the asking price might be too much.

When you’re ready to buy a house, PrimeLending is ready to help you. Contact a loan officer in your area today to learn more about your options.

From the PrimeLending blog by Sarah Crandall