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Top 10 Decisions New Home Buyers Must Make

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When buying a new house, you may believe that picking a home is all that matters. There are, however, many different choices you have to make when purchasing real estate. Read on for the top 10 decisions new home buyers must make.

  1. Whether to work with a realtor: For home buyers, there is almost no downside to doing so. Realtors can provide you with access to a wealth of information and data, such as access to real estate database listings found on the MLS. They can guide you through the buying process and help you make an offer. Furthermore, you don’t even have to pay them- they are paid a commission by the seller of the home.
  2. Whether to work with a buyer’s agent only Some real estate agents are buyers agents, some are sellers agents and some do both. You should generally opt to work with an agent that is working only for you. If the agent who is selling the house represents both you and the seller, there could be a potential conflict of interest as you want the lowest price possible and the seller wants the highest price possible.
  3. What neighborhoods to look in: The neighborhood is one of the most important factors when it comes to property value. Purchasing in an established neighborhood usually means your property value will be pretty safe, while purchasing in an up-and-coming neighborhood can carry more risk if the neighborhood doesn’t become popular, but also potentially more reward if the neighborhood becomes the new hot spot.
  4. What you can afford: You may want to buy the biggest mansion on the block, but your budget may allow it. Make sure you determine how much you can reasonably afford to spend so you don’t find yourself facing foreclosure.
  5. What trade-offs you are willing to make: Since you may not have the money to buy the perfect home, you’ll need to prioritize and decide what is most important to you. Perhaps you are willing to trade square footage for additional acreage; after all, you can always build on to the home later.
  6. Whether a home is right for you: After you have looked at several houses, it may be hard to choose between them. You want to listen to both your heart and your head when you decide if a home is right for you. It needs to be a place you will love to live, but should also be a place that is a good investment.
  7. What to offer on the house: The seller’s asking price is just a jumping off point for negotiations. Your actual offer should be based on the market value of the house, how long the house has been on the market, the condition of the house and how badly you want the particular property.
  8. Whether to accept a counter-offer: If you make an offer, the seller may respond not with an acceptance but with a counter offer. You’ll need to decide whether that new suggestion is a price you are willing to pay.
  9. Whether to deal with potential problems in the home: A home inspection is normally required by the bank before you can finance a home. If the inspection turns up problems, the seller may knock the price of the house down to compensate. Still, if the problems are major, you will need to decide whether you want to take on the responsibility of coping with them.
  10. How to finance the home: Most homeowners need some type of mortgage. You will need to decide on a fifteen or thirty year mortgage (fifteen year mortgages have higher monthly payments but lower interest rates and ultimately cost you less) and on the structure of the loan itself (fixed rate mortgages are usually the safest bet).
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