Buying a home is one of the biggest and most stressful purchases you will ever make. While this is certainly a big deal with the right help and resources it can go much more smoothly than you could ever imagine. There is more information about the home buying process currently available than ever before. Trying to decipher which of this information is pertinent and relevant to you makes all the difference. Figuring out where to start your home buying search doesn’t have to leave you stressed out thinking about it. Fortunately there are some steps to follow that will help guide you through this important process.
A real estate agent. A good realtor will walk you through every step of the process. They will tell you what you should do and when you should be doing it. A good realtor will know things about the local market that even most sellers aren’t aware of. Between access to the MLS (multiple listing service) and bank owned properties if a new listing hits the market they will be the first to know about it. Additionally they know the nuances of the real estate contract and will protect you every step of the way. If you want your transaction to go as smoothly as possible you need a quality realtor on your side to guide you every step of the way.
An online mortgage calculator. In the past if you wanted to know what your mortgage payment would be you had to be able to use a complicated mortgage calculator. In today’s market there are many free calculators available online that can give you a good idea of your payments may be. If you know the purchase price and property tax range you need to be in before you start your search you will already be ahead of the game. Many prospective buyers want to spend a certain amount and are shocked to find out what their payment really are. The more you know about what and where you can buy the more prepared you will be.
Real estate websites. Your realtor will show you as many properties as you like that fit your buying criteria. That being said it is still a good idea to know what is on the market. Websites like Zillow, Trulia & Craigslist will give you an idea for what is available in your market and for what price range. You can use these sites as a tool to figure out what you like in a property and what you really don’t need. When you spend a day looking at homes it can be very overwhelming and difficult to remember everything you saw. If you can use these sites to give you an idea of exactly what you want you can focus on properties that you have a genuine interest in making an offer on.
If you go into the process blindly it can be very overwhelming. If you get as much out of the way as possible before you start you can hit the ground running. Buying a house can be a difficult process but with the right tools it certainly doesn’t have to be.