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25 Insider Secrets On Home Buying

Buying a Home

Home Buying Tricks of the Trade

Buying a new home is a big decision, but a little know-how will help you find your dream home in no time. Here are 25 tips from seasoned real estate pros to help you buy a home. 

Get Your Finances in Order First

Before you fill your calendar with open houses to attend, you’ll need to get your money matters in order. The state of your finances will dictate how much home you can afford, what kind of mortgage rates you’ll qualify for, and the kinds of offers you can make in a competitive buyer’s market. Give yourself a head start with these tips:

  1. Let Your Money Stay Put: Avoid big purchases in the months leading up to mortgage approval.

  2. Check And Strengthen Your Credit:  Your credit score will affect your mortgage rate and your odds of getting approved.

  3. Get Pre-Approved: Work with a reputable lender to get pre-approved to speed up the process and let sellers know you’re serious.

  4. Factor In Sleeper Costs: Aside from saving for a down payment, you’ll need to factor in “sleeper costs.” This includes closing costs, home inspection costs, property taxes, and moving fees.

  5. Create A Realistic Budget: Determine a budget you’re comfortable with before you start home hunting.

Before You Look: Research

The last thing you want is to close on a new home only to be blindsided by unexpected issues. Diligent research done upfront can save you time and a lot of heartaches. Consider the following:

  1. Decide On A Location: Start by choosing your ideal location. This will help narrow down your search.

  2. School Districts Matter: Even if you don’t have or plan on having children, school districts will affect the long-term value of your home.

  3. Spend Time In The Neighborhood: Visit the neighborhood at different times of day to get a feel for the community.

  4. Make A Wish List: Decide on the features you can’t do without before you start your search.

  5. Browse Listings Online: Searching online before you hit the pavement will let you see what’s out there and help narrow down your search.

Happy Home Hunting Tips

House hunting takes patience, perseverance, and an open-minded approach. Keep the process fun and exciting with these tips: 

  1. Work With A Local Agent: An experienced real estate agent can help you navigate the home buying process from start to finish. 

  2. Set Aside Time For House Hunting: The average homebuyer sees at least ten homes before making a purchase. Set aside enough time to find your dream home and prevent house-hunting fatigue. 

  3. Visit Open Houses: A home can look and feel different in person than what you see online. Visit open houses to experience your options in person. 

  4. Stay Flexible: Don’t forget to visualize the possibilities. You’ll likely want to change up paint colors and make renovations (big or small) to make a home your own. 

  5. Take Your Own Photos: The professional photos you see online might not capture every aspect of a home. With permission, take your own photos and make notes about each home so you’ll remember them later.

Important Things To Keep In Mind

Your new investment should always be in your best interest. Consider the following: 

  1. HOA Fees And Rules: Check to see if a home is part of a Homeowner’s Association and factor any related costs and rules into your final decision. 

  2. Property Taxes: Do diligent research and inquire about property taxes in the area. It’s important to factor these costs into your budget to avoid unexpected expenses. 

  3. You Can’t Predict The Market: The real estate market ebbs and flows, but ultimately, it’s unpredictable. Plan the timing of your search around factors like your own financial readiness, rather than trying to beat the market.

  4. Bidding Wars: If you end up in a bidding war for your dream home, you might be tempted to overspend. It’s always best to stick to your budget and avoid financial hardship down the line. 

  5. Future Developments: Consider whether future developments in the area could impact property values or your quality of living. This is especially true if your potential new home is surrounded by undeveloped land. 

House To Home: Final Considerations

The final steps of home buying can be stressful, but this part of your journey doesn’t need to be unpleasant. With an expert at your side and some insider knowledge, you can close like a pro. Follow these tips for a smooth transition: 

  1. Prepare For Closing: It can take over 40 days to close on a home. Research or ask your agent about the closing process so you can plan ahead. 

  2. Avoid Border Disputes: The last thing you want is a border dispute with your new neighbors. Even if your lender does not require it, consider a land survey before closing to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

  3. Home Insurance: Avoid closing hiccups by getting all the necessary home insurance squared away early on.

  4. The Length Of Your Home Loan: While a 15-year mortgage means you’ll pay it off faster and reduce interest payments, it can increase your monthly costs. Take the time to consider which kind of mortgage is best suited to your financial needs

  5. Do A Final Walk-Through: Homebuyers are usually entitled to a final walk-through within 24 hours of closing. Don’t skip this opportunity to ensure everything is in order and that all agreed-upon repairs have been made to your satisfaction. Don’t forget to make sure that everthing the sellers agreed to leave in the house (appliances, fixtures, etc) remained in the house.

What to do next...

The home-buying process can be overwhelming and exhilarating. With a qualified real estate agent on your side, you’ll have the support you need every step of the way. Whether you’re unsure of where to start or you need a tough negotiator, nothing beats experience. If you have questions about buying a home or you’re ready to start your journey, give me a call! I’m always happy to answer questions and offer expert advice.

Mia Shervington

Mia Shervington

Hey Westchester County, I’m Mia Shervington! I’ve had the incredible fortune to move to this amazing community, and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I chose Peekskill as my home in 2001, and haven’t looked back! I’m a real estate agent with a passion for finding new places to explore in Westchester County. When I'm not selling homes, you can find me enjoying our local parks or taking in the sunset over the Hudson River. I'll never stop my quest for the perfect hot donut, despite what my waistline may say. Nothing is better than a fresh When I'm not snacking my way up the river, I also enjoy the trails at Teatown Reservation and the views over Long Island Sound at of Rye Playland (officially known now as Playland Park...whatever...LOL). I’m looking forward to connecting with you soon! See you around town! Mia Shervington | | (914) 407-3003 | NY#: 10401202023


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