City Brokers is ready to help!

Buying a home involves hundreds of decisions – some are big decisions that require a lot of planning and thought, and other decisions are much easier to make.

City Brokers offers some advice to consider as you navigate the process:

 

  • Decide what factors are most important to you based on your lifestyle you’re your individual/family needs. Is space a deciding factor? If you need room to park several cars or interior space to display a collection, look for places with ample space. If it’s more important to you to be within walking distance of cafes, shops, and public transportation, narrow your search by location first. If school districts are of primary importance to you, restrict your search to the boundaries of the district(s) where you’d like to be.
  • Be prepared to make a down payment. The more money you can apply to a down payment, the more attractive you’ll be to sellers and lenders alike.
  • Get pre-approval for financing before you buy. During peak buying times, homes may be snatched up by other buyers in as little as one or two days. If you obtain pre-approval for financing before you shop, you’ll know your budget and will be able to make an offer when you find your ideal property.
  • Work with a trusted lender. Ask your City Brokers agent what lenders, title search companies, and other professionals are recommended. Know what financing programs best suit you. Special programs exist for first-time homebuyers (FHA), veterans, and other groups.
  • Know what your financial commitment will be. Include the mortgage and taxes in your calculations, as well as other fees you may incur, such as private mortgage insurance and homeowner association fees.
  • Check building plans for the neighborhood. Follow the news to have a sense of what’s planned for the neighborhood or check with the zoning commission. You’ll want to know if plans exist for a playground, convenience store, or strip mall.
  • Ask questions during inspection, and be sure you know if something will need to be replaced fairly soon. It’s not all bad news – an inspection also provides the good news about what’s in great condition.
  • Use the information from your inspection to negotiate before settling on a final purchase price. If you discover that the roof shingles will need to be replaced in a year or two or the water heater is quickly approaching the end of its useful life, use that information to negotiate a better price.
  • Don’t maximize your qualifying amount. It’s tempting to spend every penny on the perfect house, but remember previous advice. You’ll need money for moving expenses, closing costs, interior decorating, landscaping, and more. Set aside some funds to make improvements, paint, carpet, and make the property your own. Few properties are perfect on the day of the move. Costs for cleaning supplies, window treatments, trash cans, and lighting fixtures add up quickly. Be ready. In addition to the property costs, you may also experience higher personal costs, such as a longer commute to work that requires higher fuel costs or tuition for the private school that your children will attend.
  • If you’re planning to renovate the property, get an estimate from a contractor as to what the upgrade will cost. If you’re a DIY fan, calculate the costs of materials and time to get the job done.
  • If you’re buying a property that is bound by a homeowner’s association agreement, know your limits before you sign. Typically, a homeowner’s association will include specific covenants, conditions and restrictions, as well as bylaws, budgets, and future plans. If you can, talk to other people who live in that neighborhood and get their opinions on how well the association supports its residents.
  • Work with your City Brokers representative to submit the best possible, strongest bid. When you find the perfect property, talk about what approach might work best. For example, if you’d like to make a competitive bid, you may think about adding a contingency that you’ll pay $1,000 over other competing offers up to a specific limit. If the current owners want their children to finish the school year and you don’t need to move in immediately, you could add a contingency that the family can stay a month after the closing and reduce the sale price by an amount equivalent to one month’s rent in the market.

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Below are some helpful tools to help you in your buying decision.

Mortgage Calculator

Affordability Calculator

Closing Costs Calculator