The housing market has been relatively steady this year, with rates being quite low and manageable. However, home buying is still a long and bumpy road. We here at Vermont Mortgage Company aim to make home buying a simple and easy process, so we’ve done our research to come up with a few tips for those thinking about starting the process.
- Get Pre-Qualified – Getting pre-qualified for a loan allows you to know the range you can look for in a house. This will help in allowing you to budget accordingly, and also shows a potential seller that you are able to afford the house.
- Start the home buying process early – The best time to begin is right now. While there are definitely seasons in the housing market, your dream house can show up at any time. This also means you might get a head start on those waiting till the Spring and Summer months to begin looking for houses. Getting a jump on your finances, such as sorting out the money you have on hand, your budget, and getting the loan process started can help incredibly.
- Don’t buy the biggest house – While you may be tempted to buy the biggest house on the block, there are other things to consider. A bigger house may cost quite a lot more than its surroundings. It may also no appreciate as quickly or as well as other houses that are similar to each other.
- Be kind and flexible – Establish a connection with the seller. The seller may be more comfortable selling the home to you if you come across as buying the house to care for it as they did, and not some faceless investor who only wants to renovate it for a profit. The seller has probably invested a lot of time and love into the house, and has a lot of memories. They don’t want to sell it to just anyone. Allowing them time to think, offering a reasonable amount, and even allowing them time after selling to stay in the house and finish up can make all the difference.
- Make sure your finances are in order – Home buying can have a lot of hidden and unexpected fees. Make sure you prepare to have money for the payment, but also for costs that can come up, such as: Private Mortgage Insurance, Home Inspector, PITI (Principal, interest, taxes and insurance), and all the costs of owning a house such as utilities and renovation. Missing a payment on your mortgage because of unforeseen factors could have a major negative impact on you. Another good rule of thumb is to make sure your credit score is the best it can be. Poor credit can drastically affect the mortgage you could get, and it would be better to spend 6 months fixing ones credit score before starting the process than beginning and losing out on better deals.
- Home Inspectors – As mentioned before, a home inspector can be an extra cost. However, spending a few hundred extra dollars on a qualified home inspector can save you thousands in the long run. They will be able to see things you won’t be able to in the home, and also give you advice on the pricing and offers. If a home needs a lot of renovation, you can use that to maybe sway the cost in your favor, or have them renovate the house before you purchase it.
- New Houses – While they are more expensive, a newer house could save you a lot in the long run. A lack of renovation requirements means less cost to you. You’ll also be able to have peace of mind, since many modern home appliances come with a manufacturers warranty. This will save you from any nasty surprises after you buy the home, like realizing the roof needs to be replaced.
- Realtors – We have already made a blog post on how realtors can greatly help you in the home buying process, but we cannot sing their praise enough. From using their knowledge to find houses in your range, or finishing paperwork to make sure there are no hiccups, a realtor can drastically improve your experience and lower stress.
Of course, there are many more aspects of home buying that we cannot cover in one short article. If there’s anything we didn’t cover, or any questions you might have, please give us a call! We here at Vermont Mortgage company have a team of highly skilled professionals that will be able to answer any and all questions, and hopefully will save you from any problems down the road. Give us a ring at 802-863-2020, or visit our website at vermontmortgagecompany.com.
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