Articles and Advice

Buying A Home? Minimize The Time & Maximize The Results

When you're ready to buy a home, you don't want the process to drag on indefinitely. Of course, you can't necessarily avoid traditional home-buying steps such as showings, negotiation, home inspection, mortgage approval, and closing. But if your mission is to minimize the time and maximize the results, you'll have to plan and organize every step.

Prepare Financially

Long before you decide to start looking for a home, you must get your financial life in order. It eases the mortgage approval process.

  • Clean up your credit - Access your three credit reports at annualcreditreport.com. Straighten out any errors or problems.
  • Get out of debt - Mortgage companies will see you as more creditworthy.
  • Build a cash cushion - A healthy bank account will give your credit image a boost. You'll have the money you need for closing and moving expenses. You'll be ahead when taxes, utility bills, home maintenance, and other homeownership costs start rolling in.
  • Get Pre-Approved - Your mortgage company will review your credit-worthiness and issue a letter explaining how much they're willing to finance. Homeowners will be more willing to negotiate when you're pre-approved.
  • Determine your home-buying budget - Run the numbers through the Fannie Mae "Know Your Options" app or another online mortgage calculator.
  • Investigate alternative loan sources - Check out FHA, VA, USDA, and other loan programs. Some have lower down payments and less stringent work history and credit requirements,

Figure Out What You Want

Assuming you've made peace with the idea of giving up your weekends to perform homeownership chores, the next step is figuring out what kind of home you want.

  • What neighborhood do you prefer?
  • What's important as far as home style, bedrooms, features, and amenities?
  • What do you not want?
  • How much can you afford to pay for heating, cooling, and home maintenance?

Connect With An Agent

A real estate agent or REALTOR® can move your homeownership dream forward by first telling you if what you want exists in your neighborhood of choice.

To find the right professional, ask friends and family for referrals. Visit nearby open houses and meet the listing agent. Before you call for an appointment, consider the traits you require.

  • Knows the real estate market in the area where you want to live
  • Has a consistent sales history
  • Is willing to show you only homes that meet your requirements
  • Has negotiation skills
  • Has time to work with you

Don't Waste Your Time

If you want to maximize your results, you must minimize time wasters. Don't spend too much time evaluating a home with problems you know you won't want to deal with. Put it on your "No" list and move on. Also:

  • Never waste time looking at homes you don't like.
  • Look for any conditions you consider unacceptable.
  • Take photos so you don't forget the problems.

And when you find a home you love, check existing records before concluding a deal.

  • Ask for a copy of any seller's inspection reports.
  • Check county records for tax issues or liens.
  • Ask for any current land surveys or appraisals.

The best way to maximize your home-buying effort is to connect early on with a real estate professional. A real estate professional can negotiate a purchase that includes a quick closing so you can move in as quickly as possible.

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Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 03/20/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 03/20/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of MLSPIN MLS (last updated Mon 03/20/2023 11:03:05 AM EST) or NEREN MLS (last updated Mon 03/20/2023 10:59:52 AM EST) or MREIS (last updated Sat 03/18/2023 1:27:15 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Masiello Group may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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