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26.2.15

Home Wanted: 5 Things That Should Be Done Before Signing On the Dotted Line

Guest post is courtesy of Apex Waterproofing Inc., an expert in basement and crawl space waterproofing and mold detection and remediation in Arlington, USA.
As a first time homebuyer, you probably can’t wait to sign on the dotted line and make that dream house yours. However, it’s important not to get too hasty. There are a number of things that you will want to do before you close the sale. The following are 5 things every first time homebuyer needs to do before making their first home purchase official:
  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage – One of the biggest mistakes that a first time homebuyer can make is not getting pre-approved for a mortgage before even beginning to look for homes to buy. This way, you have some idea of the price range you should be looking for. Having a mortgage pre-approval will look good with the seller as well and can often be the difference if you are competing with other buyers.
     
  2. Hire a real estate agent – Don’t think that just because you can look up listings online and get a feel for home prices in the area you are looking at that you don’t need a real estate agent. A real estate agent is vital to helping guide you through the home buying process, especially if you're a first time homebuyer. There’s a lot of paperwork involved with the closing and a lot of steps that you’ll need to take – a real estate agent will hold your hand throughout the entire process to make sure you don’t take any missteps.
     
  3. Make sure your budget is in order – You need to make sure you have enough money for a down payment and that you’ll be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments. Additionally, you’ll need to work in homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, homeowners’ association fees, repair costs, maintenance costs, utility costs and more. You’ll want to make sure that your current income is able to cover all of these things without having to stretch yourself financially. This means sitting down and creating a budget in order to determine what you can afford.
     
  4. Ensure that you are in a financially stable situation – Even if you are pre-approved for a mortgage, the lender can still pull your approval if there’s a huge change in your financial situation, such as if you are all of the sudden filling up your credit cards or have recently changed or lost your job.
     
  5. Hire a professional home inspector – You don’t want to buy a home full of structural problems that you didn’t notice before. Try limiting the number of home improvements you may have to do by hiring a professional to inspect the house from top to bottom. The inspector should pay extra attention to the basement and any crawl space area in case waterproofing or mold remediation is needed.
If the inspector determines that there are areas of water damage or mold infestation in your basement or crawl space, you may need to hire a contractor who specializes in basement or crawl space waterproofing. You can also use this information to drive down the cost of the home unless the seller is willing to pay for any repairs or maintenance that was suggested by the inspector.
If you are considering purchasing a new home, these are the 5 most important factors that you should do before closing on a home.