When you start out on the path to acquire a home, you don't want to just buy one of the first ones you find without looking around first to get a good idea of what is available. With the help of your real estate agent, you can take the necessary steps to search out properties, analyze them for value, and find the right affordable financing for your personal budget. Here are some recommendations to help you find and buy an affordable home for your own personal residence.
Review the Market
As a first step in the buying process, you will need to get some knowledge about the market and the relative home prices in your area. Just as you research information about any product you plan to buy, a home is no different; in fact, it is more important because the value of a home is much more. Start out by searching online for homes in specific areas you would like to live within. You can set specific geographic parameters or by price or home characteristics combined. Your real estate agent can help you with this search with the assistance of their MLS (multiple listing service) access.
Your real estate agent can also help you compare a home for sale with other homes that have recently sold. This analysis process is the right way in which you should compare a home to others to evaluate its true market value. You don't want to compare a home for sale from a year ago; you only want to look at the past one to two months of sales. Market prices can adjust regularly upwards or downwards, and you only want to pay for a home what it is worth.
Get Your Financing Started
When you find a home you want to pursue in buying, you need to have financing in order to close on the sale. The financing process is something you can begin early on to have your credit and income pre-qualified for a mortgage amount and a good indication of the interest rate you will be able to lock in.
This will help you think about your budget for your new home and make sure your personal finances can support it. Never spend more than you can afford on a home because it will leave you with empty pockets each month and put you at risk of overextending your finances.
If you don't have a mortgage broker or a bank lender to work on your financing, ask your real estate agent for a recommendation. Your real estate agent will have some great professional recommendations for financing, as they work with lenders on a daily basis.