1. HAVE A PLAN
It's helpful to start the real estate process with an eye to the future. If you're moving within the next five years, you might want to purchase a home requiring a minimal investment for repairs and upkeep. If you're setting down longer roots, then feel free to look at properties with an eye towards renovation and other improvements.
2. SEARCH IS KEY
Make sure you use effective online property search tools to keep you informed of the current market. You will want to research other homes in the area in your price range. Consult with your Realtor and have them run a comparative market analysis to make sure that the house supports the asking price. A good agent can help educate you in this aspect of the home buying process.
3. ADVICE OF A PROFESSIONAL
No one knows your local market better than a professional real estate advisor. Having an agent that you feel comfortable with and is looking out for your best interest is one of the smartest moves you can make when you are buying a home.
4. UNDERSTANDING YOUR CREDIT RATING
In today's market is important to understand your credit rating so you can qualify for as much home as possible. Talk to your real estate adviser for a referral to a mortgage broker to get prequalified and know the exact amount of loan you will qualify for.
5. DON'T FORGET THE LITTLE THINGS
Give as much information about your wishes and requirements as you can to your Realtor, such as local amenities, transportation, schools, shopping, etc. This way your Realtor can find your perfect home that matches all of your criteria.
6. GET THE HOUSE INSPECTED
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of buying a new home. When making an offer on a home, it is a good idea to make your offer contingent on the home inspection conducted by independent authorized inspector. You ought to pay for this inspection yourself to keep you from buying a house that will cost you far more in repairs down the road. If you're satisfied with the results of the inspection, then your offer can proceed. If you aren't, you may want to negotiate, asking the seller pay for repairs or asking for a lower price.
7. TAKE PHOTOS
In today's world, everybody has a digital camera with them most of the time. Make sure you use it to take lots of photos of the home you are interested in, especially specific areas of the home such as the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. This way you can go back and view the photos to refresh your memory.
8. HAVE PROPERTIES EMAILED DIRECTLY TO YOU
It is so simple nowadays to have properties that match your criteria automatically e-mailed to you as soon as a property hits the market with the exact criteria you're looking for in a new property. Consult with your local Realtor in getting signed up for your very own eProperty Notice and sit back and look for properties delivered right to your inbox.
9. IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOLS
Buy in a district with good schools, whether you have children or not. This will add to the resale value of your home and make your home easier to sell down the road.
10. HAVE FUN
Whether you are a first time home buyer or looking for your dream home, shopping for a home should be an enjoyable experience. Rely on your real estate professional's expertise to take away some of the stress and just have fun.
Updated August 2014