BY JESS GARRISON · PURCHASING A HOME
Buying a home is hard. Buying a home in a crazy market is even harder. If it’s your first time buying a home in a crazy market, it could seem like one of the most difficult and confusing tasks you’ve ever done in your entire life. When buying your first home, follow these steps closely to ease the process and become a homebuyer pro!
The very first step every prospective buyer should take is finding a trusted local lender. Without talking to a lender it’s almost impossible to even be in a position to purchase. If you are able to purchase with a lender, you need to find out what kind of loan you will be using, the total rough estimate of cash you will need to have saved up to bring to closing. Once you know you can purchase, you need to find out how much you are comfortable spending a month for the home. The lender will then tell you the price range you should be looking into.
Many buyers are shocked when they find out how much money they will need to purchase a home. Save heavily before you begin your search. A typical purchase involves putting down anywhere from 3% to 5% based on your loan type. Then there is an additional fee we refer to as Closing Costs & Prepaids. This amount is typically between 5% and 6% of the sale of the home. A $100,000 home could require you to put down anywhere from $5,000 to $11,000.
When in competition with multiple buyers, you want your offer to be as clear as possible. The more contingencies and things you ask for, the easier it is for a seller to move on to another, simpler offer.
Be prepared to make a quick decision on homes. The days of having a week to think over the idea of purchasing a specific home are long gone. Do your homework on properties well before you show up. Have your realtor send you copies of the sellers disclosure and review them the night before seeing the home. Having as much knowledge about what you are seeing before you show up allows you to have better knowledge about what you are looking at.
As a seller, their biggest fear after accepting an offer is the inspection period. Once an offer is accepted, a buyer has the right to to get inspections on the property. They then have the right to renegotiate their offer or walk away from the home completely.
You have to be ready to move quick. Homes are often off the market in the first 24 to 48 hours that they are listed. You need to be ready to drop everything at a moments notice if there is a home you absolutely love. You need to have a realtor who is ready to jump the moment a home is listed. If you are a buyer that doesn’t have the cash to be aggressive when writing offers, then you need to find an advantage. Being the first person to write and move quickly can be that advantage.
The seller runs the show in this market. Giving the seller the opportunity to stay in the home for up to 30 days after the closing can be another advantage over your competition, as it makes the seller comfortable with the offer. You don’t pay your mortgage the first month you close on a home, so it’s really not anything out of your pocket to allow them to stay.
Another big advantage is cash upfront. Cash allows for an extremely fast closing (possibly under a week), and there is no appraisal needed when using cash.
Probably the most important thing you can do is to use a realtor you trust and who understands your local market. There are many steps to go through when purchasing a home. A realtor who is savvy and knows what they are doing can make this process very easy and even fun!
If you are looking into buying a home and need the help of a trusted realtor, contact Jess Garrison at [email protected] or call 616.502.2665 to set up a time to talk and go over the many home buying options!