First Time Home Buyers
Time-tested Home Buying Tips
Every Franklin or Cumberland County home buyer has one goal in mind, to buy the most home for your money. In addition, buyers desire a home in a great neighborhood with terrific amenities, outstanding schools and super appreciation values. By following these time-tested tips, you will be armed with all the information you need for a successful home buying experience.
Tip #1: Hire a local qualified neighborhood expert-the Lane Thrush Team
Before you even consider searching for homes, we recommend you interview a Realtor to help you through the maze called the "home buying process." You're about to embark on the single largest investment you may ever make. Don't do it alone. Make sure the Realtor you select will protect your interest and negotiate on your behalf. Not all Realtors are alike. Contact us and we will assess your home buying needs.
Tip #2: Do your research and plan ahead
Together we will search the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for all available homes for sale that fit your search parameters or you can search for homes on your own. Once you have found homes you're interested in, you can schedule a series of home tours to preview the properties that fit your needs. Tell us about your home search criteria now by taking the "Home Buyer's Assessment".
Tip #3: Get Pre-qualified
We will connect you with several area lender experts to determine how much home you can afford to buy. They will collect your financial information and do the calculations to let you know how much home you can afford. As a general rule of thumb, your mortgage should not surpass 33% of your gross income. This calculation will put you in the ballpark for the amount you can afford. We will even help you assess your financial situation. A lender will pre-qualify you for a loan, which will tell you how much you're eligible to borrow. Want to take a peek at monthly mortgage cost? Try out our mortgage calculator.
Tip #4: Buyers will eventually become sellers
Because we are a very mobile society with people changing residences every 3 to 5 years , we recommend you think of the potential home selling aspect of your next home. Value is determined by the following factors; location, condition, consistency of value and ultimately supply and demand. As your neighborhood experts, we have a historical perspective on the value of real estate in South Central Pennsylvania and we will provide you a "competitive market analysis" (CMA) for the homes of your choice.
Tip #5: Create a list of features and amenities
List the most important features that you would like to have in your next home and those you can't live without. You may need to sacrifice some of your amenities if an exceptional value presents itself though. If you are a first time home buyer, we have a "Home buyer's Scorecard" to help you keep track of all the homes you have previewed. This Scorecard will make finding your ideal home much easier.
Tip #6: Select the right type of loan
The type of mortgage you secure depends on several factors including:
- How long will you be in the home
- Which is best, a 15 year or 30 year mortgage
- How much of a down payment can you afford
We will help you make the decision about which is the best loan type for you as well as make you aware of all the closing costs along with the terms and conditions of the loan.
Tip #7: Make sure the contract protects you
Be sure that the contract allows you to arrange financing, inspect the home and negotiate any problems you see.
Tip #8: Compare lenders for the best deal
With so many lenders competing for your loan, there are plenty of options. When comparing financing options, be sure to compare apples to apples (i.e., fixed rates to fixed rates not fixed rates to adjustable rates.)
Tip #9: Have the home inspected
Securing a home inspection prior to purchasing it is essential. A home is often your largest purchase so don't take it lightly.
Tip #10: A home warranty buys you peace of mind
Buying a home protection plan protects homeowners against the cost of unexpected repairs on major systems and appliances. Typically the warranty covers the repair of mechanical breakdowns for one year. It's different from a homeowner's insurance policy, which covers damage caused by the mechanical failure.
As you can see, the home buying process can be complicated however it doesn't have to be stressful. It can be an opportunity for you to buy the type of home that will be your oasis and a place that will be the foundation for you and your family. Why not contact us, the Lane Thrush Team today, and together we will help you find the home of your dreams!
Are you ready to begin your home search? Start searching for homes now!
For more information on the advantages of using a Realtor for building a new home, read " Do I Need a Realtor for New Construction."