Frist Time Homebuyer - Steps to Purchase a Homeby Sandra Patti
You have decided to purchase a home:
Let's outline your approach:
1. First, sit down and make a list of the important elements that you would like your new home to contain. How many bedrooms do you require? How many baths? Do you require a basement (finished or unfinished) or a garage? Is a formal dining room, family room, den, loft or study a necessity? What type of heating or cooling do you prefer? Gas heat, oil, electric? Is central A/C mandatory? How much property do you want to maintain? What should the age of the home be? Is well water and septic sewer something that you would consider (single family homes) or would you prefer public water and public sewer only? What style of home do you prefer? single family or townhouse or condominium? I can explain the difference. Would you like a pool or tennis courts, playground or clubhouse in the townhouse community?
2. Begin to think about location and where you need to commute to work everyday and think about proximity to major highways, family, friends, co-workers and proximity to daycare if necessary?
3. Once you have begun to formulate style, size and locale it is time to get pre approved. Contact several mortgage lenders and learn about their mortage programs and fees and the interest rate they will offer you. Do you need to pay PMI? (mortgage insurance) Obtain a pre approval letter.
4. Contact a full time Real Estate agent or company that covers the area(s) that you are considering. Sit down and discuss with the agent your "Wish List" of important criteria, price range and time horizon. Your agent will prepare appointments to view home listings that match your criteria and show you these properties. Generally, most buyers will not to be able to afford or satisfy all the criteria on their "Wish List" but your Realtor will attempt to satisfy as many as possible. Decide what criteria you are willing to sacrifice or forego in order to match your price range.
5. When you arrive at each home, jot down notes on each listing of the location, curb appeal and condition of the property. Although, you are making your first purchase you should greatly weigh the resaleability of this home for the future, when it comes time to sell. What is the condition, age of the roof, furnace, A/C? What is the condition of the kitchen, garage and basement? Is the basement dry or is there a musty, damp odor? Does the basement have a sump pump? Is one necessary? Will the carpets need to be replaced? Will the kitchen need to be updated or renovated? Generally speaking, a home that shows well and one that is neat, clean and well maintained will have less inspection issues; as the owner has pride of ownership and has kept up with the necessary repairs.
6. Once you have located a home and have decided to make an offer and negotiated price and terms and have completed attorney review, schedule a home inspection with a licensed company. Your Realtor should be able to provide a list of satisfactory companies. After the home inspection you, your Realtor and your attorney will receive a copy of the completed inspection report and discuss what items you would like to address with the seller. Some seller's will fix everything, some will fix a few items and some will state the home is to be sold "As Is" and will not perform any repairs except the contractually required ones.
About the Author
Central New Jersey Realtor Sandra Patti (908) 904-6814 Homes listed and sold in Somerset, Hunterdon and Mercer Counties of New Jersey. http://www.centralnjproperties.com