The Best Way to Buy a House
Western Washington real estate market is booming however, there are not enough homes to meet the current demand, especially in more metropolitan areas such as Tacoma, Olympia in downtown Seattle. Buying has become an art form and we have so many buyers nowadays that have come to us almost in tears because they've lost out on too many bids, can't seem to find a home in their price range or been denied for financial assistance.
This is where Better Properties can come into play. Our agents specifically trained for their micromarkets and neighborhoods from Vancouver to North Seattle and surrounding communities and towns. We have agents that specifically deal with a particular neighborhood and to those who deal only with buyers. It's key to find this type of real estate agent in order to present a solid offer, negotiate for your terms and get your offer accepted.
With proven results, the following steps are the best way to buy a house. Don't be stuck in a bidding war only to lose one more house to a competitor.
#1. Get your finances in order.
This is more than simply understanding how much you can afford in a house. Understand your credit history, your credit report and your score. Order a copy of your credit report and go over every detail, verifying there are no mistakes or errors. If there are, before applying for a home loan and if there are items that cannot be repaired, make sure you have a letter explaining the situation.
Also, try and have a little bit of extra money in the bank. If you're buying a home with zero down home loan such as a USDA loan, you still want a little bit of money in order to have a cushion in case of an emergency, to pay for the appraisal and/or the home inspection. You'll also need money for an earnest money deposit. This is basically a deposit to hold the property until it closes. The earnest money will get deposited after mutual agreement and credited toward the overall purchase of the home upon closing.
Third, sit down with a lender and go over all of your finances including your debts, assets, income and liabilities. From here, the lender will be able to determine exactly how much home you can afford with a monthly mortgage payment each month. If you've been paying rent each month and has stayed on top of it, you're probably used to paying a monthly housing payment. A mortgage is usually more so your lender will want to make sure that you are comfortable taking a mortgage payment each month.
Note: you don't have to max out your budget when looking for a home. For instance, if you are approved up to $400,000 consider looking around the $350,000 mark. This will make your mortgage payment much more comfortable and leave a little bit of extra each month for upgrades or improvements.
#2. Enlist the help of a buyers agent.
Most homebuyers don't even realize that there are two agents involved in most real estate transactions. There's a buyers agent, assisting and facilitating the transaction on behalf of the buyer and the listing agent, who lists the property and markets it for the seller. This can be the same agent but this is called dual agency and can get very muddy when it comes to due diligence for the buyer and the seller. It's extremely important for every buyer to enlist the help of their own agent. It is completely free to the buyer to utilize the services of a buyers agent and this agents soul priority is negotiating on behalf of the buyer. The buyers agent will receive half the commission of which ever home the buyer chooses. The listing agent's primary goal is to get that particular home sold. They may not be concerned with the priorities of the buyer as much is the seller. Our buyers agents have saved buyers literally thousands of dollars in negotiating as well as getting buyers the right terms, time frames and even a little extra from time to time.
#3. When you're ready, present a solid offer.
After you are approved for a home loan, you've enlisted the services of a buyers agent and you searched through hundreds of homes in your price range and area, it's time to make an offer. Your buyers agent will complete a solid offer with your terms and price. However, it's important to listen to the advice of your buyers agent when it comes to different terms on the purchase and sale contract. A home inspection is vital to the buying process and is not something to be taken lightly. Other contingencies could include financing, neighborhood feasibility contingency or even a contingency to sell previous home. Again, your buyers agent will offer key tips and suggestions on presenting an attractive offer to the seller. Make sure you ask any questions that you have so you fully understand what you are signing and the legalities of backing out.
Buying a house is an exciting step in anyone's life but doing so recklessly could mean a loss of money and a lot of frustration. Start your real estate portfolio off right and contact one of our Better Properties agents and one of the closest cities near you.