Purchasing a home is about hope. Perhaps it is a fresh start, a new school district, a new career, a smaller payment, more space...the list goes on.
Buying a Home: The Process
- Be specific about your needs with your Realtor®. Do you have a big dog and need a secure fence? Potentially have an elderly person who will move in and who has special needs? Do you prefer your home to face a particular direction?
- Carefully go over the homes your Realtor® sends you to review. Drive by. Do you like the neighborhood? How about the exterior appearance?
- Be timely for showings. Listing Realtors® arrange for people to be out of the home during showings. The owner may be toting around small children, pets or elderly parents.
- Dress casual. You may be part of an exploration to the attic or peering into a crawl space.
- Remember, the first showing is just that. If you like the home, you can always go back for a second showing.
You've found the home, now what?
Once you have found the home you want to purchase, there is more work to be done.
- Trust your Realtor® to go over the contract with you thoroughly. If you don't understand something, ask. It is important to understand what you are signing.
- Call the utility companies to find out average bills (remember, each family uses a different amount of water, gas and electricity. This will only give you an "idea" of what your bills might run.) You will also need to contact them to have service transferred into your name.
- Hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home. Licensed home inspectors are trained to inspect the whole home. They can make recommendations as to whether or not you may need a more specific inspection, for example a structural engineering inspection. This is the best safeguard to purchasing a good home.
- Call your insurance company as soon as you have a signed contract to set up your insurance. This is a good time to make sure that the roof is insurable. Provide your Realtor® with the insurance company, agent name and a phone number. Your Realtor® will pass this information on to the title company.
- Be prepared to make adjustments. Many people are involved in the process of buying a home. There will be issues to address after you have a contract. Vis-á-vis Realtors will assist you start to finish.