A Guide to Buying a New Home
Sara Majzun-Garwood, NCBIA President
As much as it does not seem to feel like it outside spring is just around the corner! And with spring approaching this means the spring housing market is in full force. It is this time of year when many people consider listing their house and buying a new place to call home. Before you even start shopping sit down with the members of our household and discuss what options or preferences are a must have and what others are complete “deal breakers” for you. After you have made the decision to purchase a new home there are 4 easy steps to help you along the way!
Step 1: Figure out how you plan to finance your purchase. The best way to determine this is sit down with a local mortgage lender in your area to find out what you can afford. We have a list on the North Coast Building Industry Associations website that are our members that we strongly recommend and can help answer any questions you may have. To ensure the entire home buying process goes smoothly, buyers should consider getting prequalified from their lender. Many real estate agents will ask for a pre-qualification letter when showing a house to a new potential buyer. This ensures that both parties know the buyer is serious about potentially purchasing the home and that there should not be any hiccups in the closing process.
Step 2: Create a list of most-wanted features you would like to have in your new home. We all have things that we would LOVE to have in our home. Whether it be a large walk-in closet off the master bedroom or a spacious, well-equipped kitchen, everyone’s taste is different. An easy way to figure out your list is to write a list of everything you would like in a home; at this stage nothing is out of reach! Then take your list and prioritize it as to what is most important to you and your family’s needs. Some things on your list might not be practical if you are looking for your starter home or you are looking to downsize so this priority list will help alleviate some of the struggles when looking at potential new homes.
Step 3: Select the type of house and area you would be most interested in looking at houses in. Would you prefer a ranch style home where everything is on one floor? Or a two-story colonial with room for extra bedrooms? Some home buyers prefer homes with a big yard and space between their house and the neighbors while others would rather be in a condo or cluster-home setting where they do not have to worry about yard maintenance. Coming up with a plan as to where you would like your family to be located will greatly aide your realtor in finding you that perfect home!
Step 4: Choose a realtor and begin your house hunt! This is by far the most exciting step of the process. Find a realtor that you “click” with that will be able to help find you exactly what you are looking for within your price point. If you are unsure if a certain realtor will be able to help you meet them for coffee and essentially interview them to see if it will be a good fit. When choosing a realtor its important to find someone that gels with you and your though process when it comes to houses. You do not want the realtor to waste your time by showing you houses that on your own you would never consider and you do not want to waste theirs by being too vague.
As always, the North Coast Building Industry Association is here to help make this process as seamless as possible for you. Please feel free to call our office at 440.934.1090 with any questions you may have about the process or what direction you should go in first! Also check out our list of our members that may be able to make your dream home a reality!