1. Find the right representative
Even if you’re not quite ready to buy, your buyer’s agent can be an absolute wealth of information, and can often offer ‘scoops’ on local developments or provide information you might not have known about otherwise. Speak to your agent first and he or she can be helping to guide you right from the start.
2. Find out what your price range is
Online mortgage calculators are a good place to start, but as you get closer to being ready to buy, there is no substitute for a written mortgage pre-approval. Typically having documentation of your financial wherewithal will be necessary to accompany any Offer you make. Just speaking to your lender is an extremely worthwhile venture – this is the only way to really get an in-depth picture of your overall financial profile and to discover exactly what you can reasonably afford to spend on a home (and possibly on renovating) and determine the monthly and long term costs.
3. Find out what your local market looks like
The internet can be incredibly valuable in doing preparatory research. Start with your agent – he or she can direct you to valuable resources and immediately start e-mailing you real estate listings that may interest you (or at least give you a better idea of what your needs and wants are with specific examples).
4. Find out what your true needs and wants are
Compose a needs/wants list that takes into consideration your local market conditions, your price range, and the advice of your real estate agent. Bear in mind this list may vary from town to town due to differences in values.
5. Find your dream home!
Once you’re ready to act, you may be surprised by how quickly you can make a decision. Armed with your pre-approval, a little market knowledge, and your needs/wants list, call your real estate agent, hit the pavement, and when you see ‘the house’, put in an offer. Knowledge gained by viewing properties will provide a comfort level when making a bid to purchase what will become, Your Home!
With the right team behind you, it really can be that easy!