What to Know (and What to Avoid) Before Buying a Home

By The A-Team | Jun 19, 2017 | Fort McMurray- Buyers Advice

Buying a home is a momentous occasion, but it can also be a very stressful one, especially for first-timers. While, with the help of a wonderful qualified agent, it's not necessary to do lots of preparation, it can be a very good idea nonetheless! There's advice you can put into practice at every step of the process, from pre-planning to buying, to settling in.

Seeing as summer is the hottest time of the year for home-buyers, you might be preparing to start hunting. The following post from Trulia gives a number of useful tips for summer buyers:

What You Need to Know About Buying a House This Summer

1. Research trends based on your market location

While many markets are red hot in the summer, that isn’t true across the board. For example, Chicago winters are long and many families seize the all-too-brief summers for vacation, so single-family home sales slow down a bit from June to September. “Right now we’re really a tale of two markets,” says Jennifer Ames, a Chicago, IL agent. “There’s a home surplus at the high end; the starter homes are where the competition is. I tell buyers, ‘Understand the dynamics of your particular market.’ They’re not all the same.” You can use Trulia Maps to check out historical pricing trends in the housing market where you’re looking.

2. Line up your financing

This one applies year-round. And although interest rates will probably keep creeping up, “it’s still relatively cheap to borrow,” says Ashley Kendrick, an agent in Kansas City, MO. Even so, sellers are much more apt to consider buyers who present a loan preapproval letter up front. And make it from a known lender like a bank—not an application completed online.

3. Be clear with yourself on what matters most

Make a list of your must-haves, your wants, and your it-would-be-nices so you’re ready to decide right away. “This is no time to be a lookie-loo,” Best says. “There’s no more, ‘Let me see if I qualify for this and come back.’” Know what you can live with and what you can’t live without.

See the full list here...

That last part is important. An active market won't wait for you to make up your mind when buying. Dillydallying might only cause you to lose the home you've taken an interest in. It's important to note, however, that the Fort McMurray market is in a buyer's market so there's no need to feel rushed!

When you've started house hunting, it's a really sensible to closely inspect potential homes (we call this concept "Buyer's Beware" - that means it's up to the buyer to find most types of deficiencies in a home). This is usually done with the help of a home inspector, but there are signs you can look for yourself, as noted by Justin Havre on his blog:

Red Flags to Look For When Buying a House

Foundation problems are rare, but when they do occur, repairs can cost thousands. Some of the most clear signs of foundation problems include:
  • Doors or windows that are jammed open or closed.
  • Stair stepping cracks in the foundation.
  • Large, wide cracks in the walls of the house, particularly at the corners of windows and doors.
  • Uneven floors or cracks in concrete or tiled floors.
  • Chipped, flaking concrete in the foundation.
  • Bulging walls or walls that appear to lean in one direction or the other.
Read more here...
There will always be the element of risk when it comes to home-buying. That said, you can still take steps to minimize the chance of signing on to a flawed house before having to fix it yourself.

Still, if you want to be free of worry, it's always a great idea to hire a home inspector. Here are some reasons why a home inspector may be your best bet for a great home.

As you can see, there are multiple ways to make the process of buying a home the right way easier. It starts with research, and even though you can do some home inspection yourself, a qualified inspector will help you be more at ease with your purchase. All in all, a little preparation will go a long way on the journey to buy a home. Your A-Team Buyer's Agent will be able to assist by referring you to local specialists during the process.

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The A-Team

RE/MAX® Fort McMurray's #1 Real Estate team of hard-working, talented REALTORS® who specialize in helping you successfully sell or buy.