There are many new first time home buyers in the market today. Many of them have not been given any home buying steps that could save them time and money. In fact, many steps are bypassed by first time home buyers because they’re too excited to get their hands on their new home. The very first step, in fact, is THE most important – who is your realtor?
There are many horror stories about shady realtors out to make a quick buck. With so many foreclosures and short sales on the market, it’s almost like the heady days of old. A shady realtor sees a newbie buyer and quickly shuffles him/her through a few properties, urging them to make a deal quickly before the next buyer comes along. Just think about the power of information that they have and you generally don’t. So, your home buying steps should always first include finding a reputable realtor to work with.
Another step often overlooked by new home buyers is deciding where you want to live or own a home. Often homebuyers both experienced and not, are captivated by good looking homes. But, remember you can have the best home in a bad neighborhood. And, what do you still have? A bad neighborhood. Trust me, this one is a killer. Here’s the reason why. Unless the neighborhood is going through serious gentrification, the surrounding bad homes will keep the value of your home down … and likely for a long time. Remember what your mom or dad told you a long time ago … location, location, location.
Another of the home buying steps that many people miss is what’s happening in the community? For example, do you know the local politics, what types of permits are required to do renovations, how many rentals per homeowner ratio are allowed? Let’s take that first one. Local politics could mean that the people who make the decisions in your community resist homeowners adding too many bedrooms. How might that apply to you? You may want to add a 4th bedroom, but what if the local politics limits the bedrooms to three. What do you do?
Permits are other contentious issues for many communities. If you’re buying a foreclosure or short sale property, chances are the properties need some type of renovation. New home buyers and investors don’t necessarily bother to check local planning department requirements for permits. Some communities even require homeowners to get permits just to put in simple ceiling fans.
The issue of rentals to homeowners could be one that bites you. If you do not have this on your home buying steps and you plan to rent out the home that you buy, you should really look into your local city requirements. For example, you may be intending to rent out your new purchase. But, the city has imposed a limit of rentals to homeowners and you have exceeded that limit. Guess what? You’re stuck.
There is no one checklist that fits all, but having a guide for home buying steps is a good first start. There are plenty of people who have owned properties without an issue, but there are also those who have lost their shirts. Don’t be one of them.