Helpful tips to consider when purchasing in today's new market
The inventory of homes available for sale in Greenville is surprisingly not as big as one might expect. There is certainly the potential of a rising "shadow inventory" on the horizon as I mentioned in a previous blog post, but until that time, buyers need to know it might not be the market they were expecting. The time could not be much better for buying a home, regardless, since we are still experiencing record low interest rates and lower home prices. With that in mind, sifting through the current inventory of homes, or any inventory of homes, can still be changing unless you have some goals in mind while searching. Consider the following tips before you tackle that all intensive home tour and you might save yourself some stress, headaches, and sore feet!
Create your "wish list," as I like to call it, of features that you can't live without. Even though we all typically have more than we need, let's call this list just that...home options you "need." You can sort through any guilty feelings you have later about this list, but try to pamper yourself for now. This list will include the obvious features like bedrooms, baths, and school district. Ah ha! You probably didn't think I was going to say schools did you? Well, schools mean location, and you know what they say about real estate...location...location...
Find, call, get a recommendation, or whatever you feel most comfortable with in getting to know a lender you can trust to give the you best service with the lowest rates and fees. Now that says a lot, but it can mean the difference in thousands of dollars out of your pocket and maybe some pretty stressful headaches avoided when you get ready to close. Like Realtors, everyone knows someone in mortgage lending. My advise is to go with a recommendation from your Realtor (that's me!) I can hook you up with some of the best, that will do all those things I said they should do. Once you contact the lender, you are going to need to get pre-approved for a price range. For more on this, read more in my buyer's guide about steps to take towards financing your home.
Now you can start your research online! Yeah, I know, you have already been doing that, or you wouldn't be reading this, right? Well, now that you have taken care of the previous preliminary work, you are really ready to start searching. Use your price range and "wish list" and create a search for properties that fit your criteria. You can view photos, take visual tours, and get all kinds of information about the homes for sale. Try to narrow it down to a couple of listings in each community you want to live before the in-home visits. You can open the search up more to individual subdivisions later once you have targeted one or two as your primary location.
The hard part can come with this one last important tip. Try not to get caught up with some of the aesthetics of the homes. These are the cosmetic features that can be changed fairly easily...like paint colors and light fixtures, and to some extent counter tops and appliances. You will almost never find the home that has every feature you want, but you should find some that have the lot size and location you want and need some changes inside to make you happy. Guess what? You can't change the lot size and the location, at least not until someone invents teleportation technology. Stick with homes that have the things you can change, that way you won't feel caught by the things you can't later on down the road.
That's it! All you need to know about buying a home! Well, not exactly. In fact, not even close. We are just trying to get you started on the right path. For a more in depth look at the buying process, take a look at my Real Estate Buyer's Guide.
Happy house hunting!