Find Your Perfect Home
The first step of home buying is to get pre-approved. It makes sense to get an idea of what kind of down payment may be necessary and to get an estimate of your monthly payments before spending both yours and the seller's time on viewings. Besides just your mortgage, there will be other fees including taxes, insurance, and HOA or space rent that you need to also take into consideration before deciding what you can afford. When you do find the right house and decide to make an offer, it is best to already have your pre-approval letter in hand so you don't miss out on that home by having to then go take the time to get a pre-approval letter. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses that would not be comfortable for you financially and so you don't miss the right one when you find it!
Do your homework before bidding. Leah will help you to review the comparable homes in the area and to help you through the negotiating process.
Hire a home inspector. This cannot be recommended enough. A home inspector is solely there for your protection. They notice many things the untrained individual may not see which could have a large financial impact on the property. It is much better to know ahead of time what issues you may be facing down the road or that are currently an issue that may not even be known by the seller.
Get to know the area. Drive around town, see what restaurants and shops are nearby, where the schools are located, how close are the hospitals. Drive by the property during different times of day and night. Go by the home on weekdays and weekends. Check with the local police department website to see crime statistics for the area. Check the Megan's Law Database for information on sex offenders in the area.
All of this will help to make you an informed Buyer, and will ultimately help you to decide which home is best for you!