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We’ve spent a lot of time covering the most important facets of home buying, such as setting your budget, how to house-hunt as a couple, and the importance of using a buyer’s agent to find a great deal. But there are some finer points of home buying that can make home owning an even more rewarding experience.
Considering Only Cost to Buy, Not Cost to Own
When you’re ready to buy a home, you’re often focused on the down payment and monthly mortgage payment. But don’t forget about closing costs, which can total up to 5% of your home’s value. You should receive an estimate of the costs, which includes an appraisal fee, property taxes, homeowners’ insurance and legal fees, before your closing date.
But the costs of homeownership don’t stop there. You’ll have monthly utility bills, ongoing insurance, property taxes, plus the costs of maintenance and repairs. Make sure you’ve budgeted for these items and that you have a fully funded emergency fund before you buy your home.
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Homeowners stay in their homes an average of just four years, according to the National Association of Realtors. So while the resale value of your home may not seem important when you’re moving in, it will likely become extremely important in just a few years. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing your home’s location and features.
A real estate agent with experience in your area can give you advice about which neighborhoods have increasing home values and the types of homes that attract the most attention from buyers. Use your agent’s suggestions to narrow down your choices when you’re shopping for your new home.
Unwilling to Kill the Deal
The home-buying process has many moving parts, and each one of them has the potential to turn a favorable deal into a disaster. Your home inspection, for example, could turn up problems in the home that should reduce the seller’s asking price. If the seller isn’t willing to negotiate, you have to decide if you’re willing to live with (and pay for) those problems or going to decline to buy the home altogether.
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That can be a tough choice if you’ve already decided that this is the one-and-only perfect home for you. Don’t wind up regretting the choice to overpay for a home with problems. Nix the deal and keep looking until you find a home that has most of the features you want and is in excellent condition.
Get More Advice From a Pro
A knowledgeable real estate agent can help you avoid these mistakes with advice that fits your situation. From their experience working with hundreds of homebuyers, they can help you plan for closing costs as well as answer questions about ongoing costs for the type of home you buy. We’ve already pointed out that an agent can help you choose a home that will retain its resale value. And a trustworthy agent will let you know if a home purchase has gone from good to bad.
In addition to all this, your agent should be committed to helping you get a great deal on the right home. You can find an agent with the knowledge, experience and dedication you’re looking for through Dave’s nationwide network of real estate Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs). We’ll put you in touch with a high-energy, high-octane ELP in your area today!