Monthly Archives: February 2015

6 Mistakes You’re Making in your Search for a New House

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Looking for a home like this incredible ranch? Call us today.
Looking for a home like this incredible ranch? Call us today.

Purchasing a new home is a BIG purchase, and most likely one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. You don’t want to make a mistake, right? An ounce of education can eliminate those mistakes later, or even mistakes you are making now while readying for your home search, including:

  1. Waiting. Mortgage rates are low now. Waiting a few months (or even a few weeks) can cost you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. Stop browsing through homes online. Contact a lender now, or call a local realtor for a referral for a local mortgage broker.
  2. Not knowing your budget. To prevent heartaches and disappointment later, consult a lender early in the process to find out if you are approved to buy a house, and what amount you can borrow.
  3. Not having a solid list of ‘must haves’ to work off. If you don’t know what you want in your new home, how is your realtor supposed to know? Make a list of ‘must haves,’ and expect it to change as you search for homes. It’s normal to tweak your list as you see features during your home tours that you like.
  4. Being unrealistic. Don’t expect the moon for nothing. Do your research, and ask your realtor to show you what your money can get for you in the real estate market—what kind of features you can get for 200,000, 250,000 and 300,000. Don’t assume that you need to set your budget at the maximum amount that a lender will borrow you, and don’t assume that you will get everything just because you want it. Prioritize your list of ‘must haves’ and decide what features you want most in your new home.
  5. Foregoing the home inspection. This is a mistake that can cost you thousands of dollars. A home inspector can tell you if work done by the previous owner was done correctly, or can recommend professionals that can inspect the structure or foundation. If you do find issues, you have time to renegotiate with the owners (visit our previous post to find out your options). If your offer is contingent on the home inspection, you can also back out of the sale. Home inspectors can not only give you insight into the quality of past repairs, but can also give you a list of repairs that need to be made in the future and a timeline. If the house needs a new roof, for example, he can give you his opinion on when it needs to be replaced.
  6. Jumping at the first property you see. Although it feels like love at first sight, compare your property love to other homes in the area to make sure it’s the one. Once you know that the property checks off boxes on your ‘must have’ list, and fits all the criteria as your match, talk to your realtor about submitting an offer.

Another common mistake most home buyers make is not using a realtor. A realtor has connections and expertise that can guide you through the home sale process, such as when you get a bad home inspection report or when navigating through the purchase of a foreclosure or short sale. In addition, realtors can recommend local home inspectors, contractors, lenders and insurance companies—any professionals you need to contact during your home search. Don’t delay. Contact a realtor to start your home search, and guide you through a smooth home buying process without any mistakes.

How to Know When That Property is Your Valentine…the ‘One’

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brown houseCan a real estate property be a match made in heaven? We think so, especially after seeing the eyes light up of numerous Wisconsin home buyers throughout Dodge and Jefferson counties. And while everyone’s process is different, with some buyers banking their decision on feeling and others on logic, there are several common factors that their ideal real estate property met. So how do you know when that house, condo or town home is the one?

  1. It matches your top priorities on your ‘must have’ list. Know what you want. Three bedrooms? Two bedrooms? A big yard? A condo with no maintenance? The perfect property has the ‘must haves’ that top your list. Creating that list should be one of the first things you do to kick off your home search, along with these other two important steps.
  2. The price is right. Contact a lender to find out what your financial parameters are for your home search. Know how much you can afford, and how much “wiggle room” you have—or if you don’t have any. The perfect property is one you can afford now, and can continue to make payments on in the future.
  3. Location, location, location. Sounds cliché, doesn’t it? Your dream home is in an ideal commuting location, near your family, in the heart of all the action in town or in the country where you want to be.
  4. The home inspection backs it up. You don’t have to walk away from a property because of issues that come up during the home inspection (find out more about your options after a bad home inspection here). We would highly recommend that you get a home inspection, so you know what you’re getting. Even if the property looks perfect, a home inspector can discover structural or foundation issues that are not obviously visible.

Your ideal property may meet other must haves on your personalized ‘must have’ list: income potential, a fixer upper, move-in ready, handicap accessible. Contact a realtor with your list, and get educated. Finding the ‘one’—that dream home—is a process, and one that we can guide you through until you find your dream home.