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Tips for New Home Buyers: I Learned The Hard Way

The process of purchasing a new home can be a problem. Even the individual who has owned houses before can be overwhelmed. Anyone who has recently purchase a home will tell you that there are many voices and many varying opinions out there. You had to learn a lot on our own, but at least now you probably feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the whole process.

I not too long ago purchased a new home. So here are some lessions I learned that I will share with you:

1. Consider using the many websites available for finding home buying data. Almost every state and local government has a website where you can research real estate information. The data on home sales, property taxes, and local communities is invaluable when you are looking for a home. By finding out the recent real estate prices on these sites, we were not at the mercy of the data given to us by the real estate agent. You will become much more knowledgeable about the area you are looking at, if you do the research yourself. This knowledge will give you the edge.

2. Be realistic about how much you can spend. Try to buy a home in a price range that allows you to put down 20%. If you put down less than this, you will have to pay PMI (private mortgage insurance). PMI will protect the lender if you default. You don’t need this additional expense. I know that 20% is a lot, but it’s not unrealistic. You may not be capable to do it on your first house, but hopefully you can on your second house. The profits from the sale of my condominium enabled my husband and me to have more than enough for the 20% down payment on our home. You may, nevertheless, wish to put some of the proceeds from your home sale away to cover unforeseen moving expenses. We recommend that you do the same.

3. A good time to go shopping for a new home is during the winter season. Around the holidays is even better. Throughout the winter holiday seasons, most individuals are not interested in purchasing a home. You will be one of the few buyers out there. We purchased our home right before Christmas, and it was undoubtedly a buyers market. Even in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, we were able to under bid the asking price for several homes we looked at.

4. When looking for a mortgage loan firm, choose a smaller firm. The smaller organizations tend to have more individual service. People tend to go with huge, well-known mortgage companies, since that’s all they know. But the smaller, regional companies offer excellent customer service, and can often give you better rates than the big companies. The smaller companies rely on word-of-mouth and don’t advertise so they have to do good work to maintain their business. We’ve tried out both, but we selected the smaller company in the end because of their service and their rates.

5. Always have a house inspection. I think most folks know this fact by now, but it is really important in areas with a hot real estate market. It can be easy to buy your dream house at a fire-sale price and ignore the inspection. Some friends of ours wanted a house so badly that not only did they overbid, but they also waived the home inspection. You expose yourself to many problems that could cost you thousands of dollars if you neglect the inspection. As a final note, try to remember that buying a home doesn’t have to be scary. The negative are far out weighed by the benefits of owning your own home. Careful planning and a slow cautious approach, will ensure you make the right descisions and are very happy with your purchase.

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About the author

Sherry Fields Sherry Fields has been working in real estate since 2002. Working with the development team for the Hilton Garden Inn gave her strategic information on the commercial real estate market in Missoula. Broadening her scope she moved into the residential market and earned the designation SFR in short sales and foreclosures. Currently affiliated with Prudential Montana Real Estate, she works with both buyers and sellers "building relationships so you can buy & sell with confidence". Sherry Fields has recently earned the CREN designation - Certified Real Estate Negotiator. While price is a large part of negotiation - it is also about timing everything from the closing date to inspections, appraisals, home insurance - and it is about negotiating items that can show up in home inspections to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome.

**************************************************************************** © 2016 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc ®. Equal Housing Opportunity. Privacy Policy Sherry Fields 1020 South Ave. W., Missoula, MT 59801 | Phone: (406) 207-8448 | Email: Sherry.Fields@bhhsmt.com *******************************************************************************



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