August 3rd, 2009 11:59 PM by Eric Fang
Things to Know Before Buying a House
Owning your own home is the all-American dream. For many, however, that dream never comes to fruition for one reason or another. If you’re looking into the possibility of becoming a homeowner, home here are some things to know before buying a house.
Know about your credit
The biggest problem most new homebuyers face is problems with their credit history and credit score. If there is a history of late payments or not meeting financial obligations, it’s not likely a mortgage company will loan the money needed.
To combat this potential problem, it’s best to get at least one if not all three of the major credit reports and go over them thoroughly before speaking with a mortgage broker or real estate agent. Having your report will allow you to see if there are problems, if anything has been misreported, and will give you an opportunity to explain any negative marks on your credit report.However – there are still some programs that will allow you to obtain a mortgage with attractive rates and very little downpayment even if you have experienced some minor credit challenges. One of the best programs is the FHA program from HUD.
Check the house out
Some people may be moving from state to state. If this is the case, they may be tempted to have someone else look for a house in their new area. Trusting someone else to find a house, or trusting what is available on the internet, is risky business. It is best to always physically go to inspect any house you may be interested in.
Take care in choosing a mortgage broker
Considering how important the mortgage broker is in securing financing and how much your monthly payments will be, you’ll want a mortgage broker who is a professional. Inexperienced brokers may not give you the same quality of service as one who’s been working in the industry for years. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and then check them out.
Learn as much as you can about the neighborhood
You may find the perfect and decide it’s the one for your family. Make several trips to the neighborhood during all times of the day or night. Since agents generally only show houses when the weather is nice and during the daytime when most people aren’t home, you may not get an accurate impression of what the neighborhood is like when there are people around. Talk to potential neighbors. Pay attention to the atmosphere and notice if there are children, especially if you have them.
Do your own homework
Even though your real estate agent may have knowledge you don’t, it’s best to be familiar with housing trends in the area you’re interested in. You can find out from the county what similar houses have sold for in recent months. Having this knowledge can help you avoid paying too much for a house in the long run.
Consider buying in the winter
The housing market is usually slower during the winter months, so you may want to wait until then before looking. You may also have a better selection of homes to look at during this time of the year.
These are some things to know before buying a house. Most of all, remember to take your time when looking for a new home. You want to realize the American dream of owning a house, but you don’t want to spend more than necessary to do it.