6 Secrets for Buying a Home

Buying a home is a major undertaking and can be very complicated. Even if you’re working with a great real estate agent, it’s nearly impossible to learn all the nuances of purchasing property. Before you start your home search, read these six secrets for buying a home:

1.    No major purchases. When you’re buying a home, you should avoid making major purchases on credit. That vacation or new furniture could wind up costing you the home of your dreams. Lenders look for reliability, and by charging expensive items you risk jeopardizing your loan.

2.    Neighborhood drive-bys. Many people drive through the neighborhood on their way to the open house – but you shouldn’t stop there. Take a quick cruise through your prospective neighborhood at different times to see what it’s like. A safe, beautiful neighborhood during the day may transform at night, and it’s better to find out before closing.

3. Don’t follow your heart. While you might be lucky enough to find a home that fits your budget and has all the amenities you want at a price you can afford, the majority of home buyers wind up settling for something that isn’t quite what they want – or costs way too much. Don’t let your emotions take the reins or you could wind up paying too much money for a home. Try to stay rational.

4.    Get ready for expenses. Sure, you’re ready for the mortgage and even the closing costs, but did you prepare for maintenance costs? What about emergencies, like a busted pipe in the winter? Before you buy, make sure you have enough money to pay for contingencies.

5.    Be willing to walk. Many buyers say they’re going to back down from the deal if the seller doesn’t accept their bid. Then, when they’re rejected, they turn around and make another higher offer. If the seller’s offer or counteroffer is too high and you know you can’t afford the home, say you’re going to walk – and mean it.

6.    You make your decisions. Although your real estate agent is there to help you, at the end of the day, it’s your decision. Expecting your real estate agent to call all the shots may land you in a home you don’t want. Take advice from your agent, but remember that the decision is yours.

Before you buy a house, make sure you keep these secrets in mind. They’ll help you save money and find the right house for you – with no nasty surprises down the road.