The purchase of real estate is one of the most important transactions a person will ever make. The first step is pick out specific areas to focus your search on. When looking at neighborhoods, check out the quality of schools, the average home prices, the major employers, and the nearby resources (fire station, library, grocery store, etc). After choosing the best area for you and your family, then it's time to start taking more proactive steps.
Resources for Buyers
A real estate agent will be your major resource for help and information. Your agent will be your access point for the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which lists all available properties on the market. While many sites allow you to view the MLS, you will need an agent to actually tour the homes. Beyond simply finding you a home, your agent can often help you find a good source of financing.
Financing is a crucial step in the buying process. It is important to be pre-approved for a mortgage before seriously looking at homes. Pre-approval means that you have been fully screened by the lender and approved for a loan. This is a huge help when the time comes to make an offer on something. There are mnay different types of financing and programs that are available. Speaking to a lender will also help you in figuring out what you can afford and feels comfortable to spend and what your monthly payments would be. In this market, ALL sellers will go with candidates that are pre-approved from a reputable lender, since there is less risk of the deal falling through.
Your real estate agent will also be critical when it comes to negotiating and making your offer. Especially in a market that is flooded with Short Sales and Foreclosures, you need an agent who knows the market and how to handle all types of transactions. The home buying process is long and involved, but with the right resources--namely, a good agent--it can be exciting and fun.
BUYERS: Click here for the H&G Realty Buyer's Guide