Last week, we shared with you five of the 10 Tips for First Time Home Buyers. This week we will conclude by offering the final 5 tips. We hope these tips will help you when you start the journey of looking for your first home.
6. Decide what is important to you. Your Realtor should sit down with you and determine what features are most important to you before going out to look for homes. Surveys indicate that besides the number of bedrooms and baths, location is an important factor for most buyers. You might want to be close to work or have your new home located in a certain school district. Whatever those features are, you need to decide on what is important to you and prioritize these features in a list. This will be helpful as you begin to look at homes.
7. Eureka! You have found your dream home! Now don’t lose it by making a ridiculously low offer. Since mid 2007, Colorado Springs has been experiencing a definite Buyer’s market. That means buyers have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating offers on homes in our local real estate market. Buyers can often offer less than the asking price and ask for some if not all of their closing costs to be paid by the seller. That doesn’t mean that you should make a ridiculous offer and expect that the seller will accept it. Remember, sellers have seen their values decrease steadily since mid 2007 and in some cases; the sellers are selling for less than what they paid for the home originally.
8. Buying a home is usually the most expensive purchase you will make. Be prudent and spend a little bit of money to hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home. A home inspector will look for safety hazards, items needing immediate repair, and will explain how to maintain the home once you own it. A home inspection gives you the opportunity to acquaint yourself with the property you are buying. If inspection uncovers serious problems you can most often opt out of the purchase rather than being saddled with a ‘money pit’.
9. Review the title insurance commitment. Title insurance provides insurance coverage if a claim is made on the title. It is important to review your title commitment to make sure that your names are spelled correctly, the legal description is accurate and the loan information is correct. You should review the requirements and the exceptions of the title commitment to make sure that there are no surprises. You should also review any covenants that go with the property at the time you are reviewing the title insurance commitment to make sure you can abide by them. There is nothing worse than finding out after you close on a home that the covenants won’t allow the business you run from your home.
10. Walk through the home before closing. Be sure to arrange for a walk through of the home you are buying before attending the closing to verify that the home is substantially in the same condition as when you made your offer to purchase. We recommend to our clients to schedule the walk through 24-48 hours prior to closing. It is best to have the home totally empty so you can view all the surfaces of the interior without interference. The seller is supposed to leave the home in a clean, ready to occupy condition with all repairs from the inspection resolution completed. If any problems surface at the walk through, your Broker should contact the Seller’s Broker to work out a resolution before closing.