Tips for Buying a Home

1.  Buy a House For a Long Term Investment
If your chances of moving are high, then it may be best to hold off on buying a home. Real estate is a long term investment. You may lose money if you buy and need to sell in after a short period of time. You need to keep in mind that not only is there the purchase price of the home but there are also transaction costs. In today's market if you do not plan on staying in the home for at least 6 years, you may want to think twice about buying.  
2.  Check Your Credit Early in The Home Buying Process
Your credit will affect the interest rate on your mortgage. It is important to know early on how to improve your credit and if there are any adjustments you can make now which will help your credit score. The earlier you start the better.
3.   Don’t Forget About Property Taxes and Insurance
When shopping for a home, pay attention if the mortgage payment is just the principal and interest or if it includes property taxes and insurance. If you put less than 20% down you will be required to have your property taxes and insurance be part of your mortgage payment. If you use a mortgage calculator online to estimate your payment most likely it does not include property taxes and insurance and your true payment will actually be more.
4.   When Shopping for a Home Look at Your Payment
Ask your lender to give you the difference of payments. For example find out what the difference of payment is between a loan amount of $200,000 versus $210,000 or what if you wait and save $5,000 more to put down. If you wanting to buy a home with a payment much higher than the rent you currently pay you may want to set aside the payment amount to see what it “feels” like to have a mortgage payment of that size.
5.   Get Pre-approved
Don’t waste your time looking at homes you cannot afford. Getting pre-approved will assure not only you but your agent and sellers that you can qualify.
6.   Work With a Real Estate Agent
When you work with a real estate agent you are working with someone who helps people buy and sell houses for a living. They are knowledgeable about the process and can help guide you through one of the biggest investments you may make. Also they will help advise you through this emotional process of buying a home.
7.   Choose a Real Estate Agent to Work With
You should find a real estate agent that will work for you. By developing a relationship with an agent you will have someone who is constantly looking out for your needs and willing to devote their time and energy to finding you a home. You want an agent who is knowledgeable, responsive, and dependable. Your agent can show you any house, it does not matter which company has it listed.
8.   Get a Home Inspection
Your real estate agent will advise you to get a home inspection. A home inspection will provide you with a detailed report of any issues or repairs needed.
9.   Define Your Needs
Give your real estate agent a list of your needs versus wants. Along with that list, tell them the purpose of your needs. For example if you think you need a 4 bedroom house because you have 2 kids and want a room for an office. A good real estate agent would be able to see that maybe a 3 bedroom and a den would actually fit your needs.

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