JMAX Realty knows that buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. Thus, we aim to provide you with a smooth, stress-free experience.
Home buyers count on our team’s experience and expertise in the Shreveport/Bossier Area market to help them achieve their real estate goals. Our ability to gather relevant, up-to-date information combined with our expertise places you in the best position to succeed. Here is a simple checklist to help start the process:
Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-qualified. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that may not meet your desired payment range.
With Pre-Qualification, you actually apply for a mortgage and receive a commitment in writing from your lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer. Costs for pre-approval are nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
List of Needs and Wants
Start with by making 2 lists:
- Needs First– Should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor,etc.)
- Wants Second– Should include your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. As first-time buyers ,you will not find everything on your wish list but it will keep you on track and help prioritize what is important.
Representation by a Professional
Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, not the other individual.
Focus & Organization
In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
- Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
- Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
- Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, the source of noise) features of the area?
Visualize the house empty & with your decor
Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don’t make a hurried decision that you may reconsider later.
A few extra dollars now may save big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget these essentials:
- Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
- Have the property inspected by a professional.
- Request a second walk-through to take place before closing.
- Make sure to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier you assumed came with the sale has been replaced with different light).
All this may seem overwhelming, that is why having a professional representing your interests and keeping track of details is recommended to help you achieve your current vision of lifestyle. Please email or call us to discuss any of these details.