Buying a house is a major commitment, and likely the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. The best way to ensure you get the house of your dreams and avoid any costly mistakes is to understand the home buying process and make sure you’re financially prepared for home ownership before you start.
Here are steps that will guide you on your decision-making:
1. Take a big-picture; look at your financial standing, career goals, location, and then evaluate whether you’re ready to buy a home and why you want to.
2. Understand the buying process and hire the right Estate Surveyor & Valuer who will represent you and your best interests throughout the entire home-buying process, from start to finish.
3. Get a home inspection and evaluate the safety, overall condition of the proposed home to purchase. Most importantly, carryout a property valuation on the property to determine the worth of the property and compare that to the current market price.
4. To buy a house; save for a down payment and closing costs. You’ll need enough to cover a down payment and closing costs, and saving up that much for a house can feel overwhelming but it’s more straight forward when you have a plan.
5. Understand your financing options especially when you can’t finance the whole purchase transaction by finding the right mortgage lender and loan type. You need to:
• Create a home-buying budget
• Have a consistent stream of income because your lender is going to want to see a history of your income to make sure your income source is stable and reliable
• Shopping around is key to finding the best mortgage lender for you. Research different mortgage lenders such as banks, online lenders, and credit unions, among others are friends and family members
• Pay attention to the rate and fee differences among lenders, and factor those costs into your budget. Compare your options before you settle on one; even a 0.5% difference in the interest rate can save you a lot of money over the life of the loan.
6. Direct all communication with the seller through your Estate Surveyor & Valuer (realtor/ real estate agent).
7. Get the seller to put every component of the deal and any verbal agreement into writing.
8. Include important contingencies such as financing and property inspections with your offer.
9. Come up with a realistic wish list; what you can afford in terms of house type, land size, neighborhood and amenities.
10. If you know nothing else about home sellers, know this….
Asking a seller to discount their property with zero solid reasoning will only build a wall between you and the seller. Why it’s vital to negotiate from a position of power; one party (seller or buyer) will ultimately have the upper hand in the deal. Here’s how to make it you;
• Get a discount by keeping your offer clean. Instead of offering lowball price and asking the seller to pay for home warranties, closing costs, and repairs, add up what you think those will cost you and build it into your original offer. Keeping your contract clean means you have a much better chance at a lower price.
• Gain the seller’s trust by being straight forward.
• Win the negotiations by doing what you say. This means timely following the contract from first execution. A seller will see your timeliness as respect for both them and their property which will psychologically make it ok to discount.

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