Any time that you need to close on what will surely be the home of your dreams, it is best that you take the time to understand the best ways to find a great real estate property. Whether you want a humble condominium or a sprawling ranch, there are real estate agents that will happily show you around any of these properties and find you the best selection for your budget. To this end, read on and follow these tips so that you are best able to become a homeowner on your terms.
#1: Free up as much cash as possible
One thing is certain – the process of purchasing a property will likely come with some expenditures that you do not foresee. For this reason, increasing cash flow is the best step you can take. The more liquid you can become, the better you will be able to handle any expenditure that you come across. Now is the time to consider taking money from your retirement accounts, as you do not need to worry about tax penalties when it comes to using them toward the purchase of your first property. Another great idea to increase cash flow is to hold a yard sale. Be sure to prominently display your most valuable items and also check out any permits that might be necessary. This kills two birds with one stone, because you're getting rid of old items, so that your move to your new home is as smooth as possible.
#2: Find the best lenders
The absolute most important part of landing a home is making sure you get qualified for lending. Getting prequalified from mortgage lenders lets you know how much spending power you have in advance. Look into online banks, credit unions, brick-and-mortar banks and mortgage specialists to get a good expectation of what the market holds. If your credit score is lower than 580, wait until you can get it up — otherwise you will have difficulty getting approved or will receive horrible rates.
#3: Take your time to check out the home
Don't rush to buy just any home, because it will be easy to miss red flags. Have a real estate professional check the property for any liens or other problems that would hinder your ownership. You should also look at a number of different properties to make sure that this one is the right fit. Bring in a contractor to provide a home inspection into the roof, foundation, electricity, plumbing and all other major facets. You will pay an average of $321 on this home inspection.
If you tackle these tips, you'll smooth out the process to homeownership.