Tips for Buying a New Home...

Hire the Right Agent!
Hiring the right Real Estate Agent is invaluable. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the Realtor you choose is your link to important information regarding schools, zoning, city and county regulations, neighborhood trends, building and remodeling and rental restrictions, and property values. Having experienced many aspects of real estate transactions on a personal level, I understand situations and concerns of my buyers and sellers. Whether you work with me or someone else, finding the right realtor is invaluable.

Pre-qualify for Financing!
Pre-qualifying for a loan may not seem that important until you find your perfect property at the same time as another buyer. When a property is priced to sell, it will usually attract more than one buyer. Once a seller receives an offer, the two most important things they consider are the price, and the contingencies. For some sellers, a contract contingent on the buyer obtaining financing makes them uncomfortable with the offer. Eliminate any doubt in the mind of a seller, by pre-qualifying for the amount you may spend on the purchase of any property before you make the offer.

Location, Location, Location!
“Location, location, location”, while overused as a real estate phrase, is still and always should be a huge consideration to you as the buyer! If something about the location of a property bothers you, be aware that the same location drawback will bother any buyer you hope to attract when and if you need to resell the property! It’s important to ask a lot of questions, but often times it is difficult to know the right questions to ask if you are unfamiliar with the community. This is why it is so valuable to choose and hire the right real estate agent to represent your interests when buying a property.

Get a Home Inspection!               
Obtaining an inspection report performed by a licensed professional building inspector of your choice, can protect you from many defects that are hidden from view. Why gamble with such a large financial investment? Let a professional building inspector point out areas to be fixed or replaced that aren’t obvious. A good inspector will give you a lengthy report covering all systems in the home from electrical, to plumbing, to roof conditions, and structural concerns. Once you receive a report you may begin negotiations again concerning repairs. Often a seller will agree to make necessary repairs up to a specified financial amount. When a seller lists their property “as is” they are letting you know that they are not willing to fix or replace any part of the property. If you are interested in an “as is” property and aren’t going to level the structure and build new, it is still in your best interest to obtain an inspection report.

Obtain a Survey and Title Insurance!
Surveys will show easements, encroachments, and boundary lines of a property. By surveying a home in an established neighborhood you are assured that the property boundary lines have been maintained. As homeowners add on the their properties over time with fences, sheds, docks, garages, and other structures, boundary lines can be crossed placing part of their structure on your property, or vice versa. Surveying vacant land is also important for same reasons as a home, plus a survey will help determine the size home, or amount of coverage the lot will allow. Title Insurance will protect your investment from another party claiming ownership interest in your property. Title searches will uncover liens placed on a property by vendors, or mistakes in past transfers of the title. The last thing you want to discover when you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the property such as tax liens, undisclosed owners, easements, or leases. Should a claim arise after the purchase of a property, the title insurance company is there to protect your ownership interest in that property.

Be Realistic!
“Wants” and “Needs” are very different when is comes to real estate features. If every home you see has the upgrades you “want” but exceeds the price range that you “need”…. be realistic. Looking at properties that exceed your price range is always fun, but it can be extremely frustrating and upsetting. Be realistic by looking at listings in the price range you “need”, keeping an eye out for that special property that has the potential to evolve into the dream home you “want”. Always look beyond the furnishings, wallpaper, and floor coverings to the architecture of the home; it is then that you will find properties with potential.

Use Contract Contingencies Wisely
Contingencies in a contract for the purchase of a property are designed to protect you, the buyer! This may seem silly to mention but it’s important to remember that you need to work with the seller to come to an agreed upon contract. Valid contingencies to an offer are expected by the seller. Common contingencies include building inspections, termite and pest inspections, financing, and surveys. Many deals fall apart over small details, and easy to fix issues. Remember that sellers are emotional about their property. The old adage “Everything is negotiable” still holds true, unless you upset the seller so much that they refuse to work with you.

Ask for Information!
Don’t be shy. When you have hired a realtor to work for you, ask them for information. Do you want to look at all the properties in your price range, with the features you need, or just the houses a realtor wants you to see? You deserve all the information you need to make an educated decision. Can you imagine buying the home that you felt was good for your family, only to find that you never received information on a similar property that is perfect for all your needs?

My buyers always have information at their fingertips.

Valerie Cloutier, Realtor®
603-965-5197
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Innovative Realty
66 Gilcreast Road
Londonderry, NH 03053
800-746-8448 | 603-434-4101
Copyright © 2005, 2006 Valerie Cloutier ~ All rights reserved.