Getting Ready to Buy a House?
INSPECTORCHEK TEST Good Ideas for Home Buyers

  • Review your finances to determine how much down payment you can make and how large a monthly payment your budget will allow. You will also need this information when it is time to talk with a lender.
  • Calculate your net-worth. An inventory of your assets and liabilities will help you to determine the maximum down payment you can make. If money you will need is tied up in assets that are not liquid, such as your current home, land or collectibles, you need to allow plenty of time to sell or to borrow against them.
  • Review your spending habits to figure out how the new house payment will figure into your budget.
  • If necessary, clean up your credit.
  • Time your purchase. Generally, sellers will be eager to sell in late-summer. But, September, October and November generally bring more buyers into the market. We recommend waiting until the holiday activities between Thanksgiving and the New Year combine to slow activity; buyers should find sellers more interested in dealing then.
  • Find out as much as possible about the seller. What you learn will make you a more capable, negotiator should you decide to make an offer.
  • Rank your priorities. Price may or may not be the primary factor. Rank the deal according to your own wants and needs: price, financing, date of possession, extras. Write down your priorities and keep them handy; they will be helpful in evaluating any counteroffer you receive from the seller.
  • Get pre-approval for a mortgage before making an offer. An offer that is conditional on your ability to get financing can be a deal killer. A pre-approval letter from your lender tells the seller you are ready and able to commit.
  • Keep your emotions out of it. You may end up paying more when acting on emotion, rather than reason. Avoid ?falling in love? with a particular house to the point you lose your common sense.
  • Have enough cash to cover closing costs without blowing your budget. Be aware that there is a long list of expenses you may have to pay at closing, depending on where you live and who your lender is. Be sure to ask your lender to give you a Good Faith Estimate of the loan-related fees and your real estate agent to compile a list of other potential expenses.
  • Coordinate your take-possession-date and your moving-out-date. Avoid a situation where you have to stay with relatives or find a short-term rental because you must vacate your old place before you can move into your new house.
  • Insist on a home inspection and a radon test. The two conditions you should always include in an offer to purchase is a home inspection and a radon test. Find out how much it will cost to fix any defects and have the seller fix them before you agree to buy or deduct the estimated cost from the final price you offer. If the seller will not help bear the costs, and you want to go ahead with the purchase, make sure you can afford the necessary repairs on top of your mortgage.

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