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Tips for Buying a Home

Because most people's requirements and situation are unique, this section is, only, pesented to serve as a basic guide with some general suggestions.

Before you even begin looking at advertisements of homes for sale or contact a realtor, we would suggest that you come up with a proposed monthly budget, and decide exactly how much you can afford to invest in your home every month. For most people, it's the monthly payment that matters, not the actual sales price.

Once you have come up with an amount to go towards housing, break down that amount into it's various components.

This should include:

  • Principal & Interest on your new loan
  • Taxes
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Utilities
  • Association fees/Common charges if necessary
  • Maintenance
  • Repairs allowance

At this point you should have a figure in mind to put towards loan payments and other monthly expenses.

Don't fall into the trap of buying more house than you can afford. By doing this you can become a slave to your house payments. Don't do it, it's no way to live. Decide what you can comfortably afford and then stick to it.

Next, you should obtain a copy of your personal credit report. You might be surprised at how much erroneous information it might contain. The wrong information could prevent you from obtaining the most favorable financing and could even force you to default on a contract.

Before you begin to go out looking at homes, you should also sit down with a few loan officers and get pre-approved for a loan. Not only will this give you an opportunity to shop the best rates and loan terms for your needs. But, more importantly, having a pre-approved loan commitment gives you a lot more leverage when negotiating the purchase of your new home.

The next you need to consider is exactly what type of home would best suit your needs, and what type of amenities would make you happy.

One way to do this is to make a wish list. On a sheet of paper and draw a line right down the middle and label the left column "must have" and the right column "would like".

Sit down and think about your family size and the type of lifestyle you live. Then come up with the items for each column, place them on the paper in their respective column, in order of importance, from top to bottom. Go through the "must have" column a second time, move anything that you can live without to the "would like" column.

Now go through both lists and decide based on your housing budget if the items on those lists are realistic. You must be honest with yourself. If any items are unrealistic given your price range and your local housing market, eliminate them.

At this point you should know exactly how much you can invest in your new home, and be prepared to start looking.

As much fun as it may be, don't go out looking at homes that are our of your budget, it will only make you feel disappointed later, and leave you with the feeling that you settled for less. Also, If you have a house that you need to sell before you can buy your new home, don't even go out looking until you have sold your present home. Many times people find a house, fall in love with it and then lose it because they have not sold their present home yet. Or worse, try and carry two homes at the same time. That gets very expensive.

A few suggestions when buying a home:

Next, keep in mind, there is no such thing as "the perfect house". Buying a home, for most people, is a series of compromises. You may have to trade off that extra bedroom to get that in-ground pool, entertainment room, etc. Keep in mind, your goal is to try to find the most features that you want without going over your budget.

When looking for a new home, you should understand that the best thing you can do is attain the assistance of a good, qualified realtor. This will save you considerable time and money in the long run. A good realtor will ask you all the necessary questions abour your budget, needs and prefrences and they will do the hunting and looking for you and present you with those homes that best fit your budget and needs.

The other item to consider is that newspaper ads rarely tell the whole story. If you start going around just looking at homes from ads in the paper, you're going to have a long, long search.

Remember the best place to look for a home is still through a good Realtor. Most are connected to a computerized multiple listing service and can easily pull up every home in your price range in a couple of minutes. You can then go through each listing and choose the homes that you are interested in seeing. It's a lot easier to spend an hour in the office looking at all the homes for sale, than it is to spend 3 months looking at only some of them. This way you can easily find the right house for you, quickly and comfortably. And by looking at all the homes available and comparison shopping, you can also find the best deal.

Realtors in Las Vegas, not only have all of the resale houses on their computer system, but they also maintain a database of all the new homes for sale as well.

A good realtor will also know who currently has the best loan and title rates, and will be familiar with all the paperwork and legal niceties involved. Only you can decide the right home for you. Our philosophy has always been that " whatever which home someone buys, they're happy with it". A realtors job is to help you get it.

When looking at a home, don't worry about things you can change later; paint, carpeting, drapes, decorating, etc. Be concerned with the things that you can't change; location, lot size, number of bedrooms, square footage, etc.. When looking at each home ask yourself: "Would I be happy here?" That's what's really important. Not whether or not it's a good deal. I know this sounds odd, but think about it. What's the point of saving a few thousand dollars now (which on your loan payment is only about $30 a month anyway) if you're miserable in your own home for the next five years.

When making an offer on a property, be fair, low-balling usually won't get you anywhere, and we've even seen owners refuse to sell to certain people at any price because they were insulted.

Talk things over with your realtor, after looking around, you'll find that you've gotten a pretty good idea of values and you'll be able to make your offer accordingly.

Also It's a very good idea to have the house inspected by a professional so as to make sure you won't have any problems later.

The day before closing and taking possession, you should go through and make a final inspection of your new home. Check everything: run all the appliances, test all the outlets, make sure everything in the house works perfectly. Before it's yours.

These are just some basic concepts to be considered when buying a home. The technical aspects such as contracts, escrow, title, insurance, impounds, Finance, etc., are different for everyone, and need to be addressed on an individual basis.

Once again, if you are planning on purchasing a home in the Las Vegas area, please contact a qualified realtor for an appointment. They can sit down with you, determine your needs, and evaluate your personal situation. This way you'll be able to find just the right home, and get settled into it, with the least cost and inconvenience to you.

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