Thinking of buying a home but don't know where to start? We have compiled ten tips to guide you through the home buying process:

  1. Start with the mortgage. See if you can pre-qualify for a mortgage - every homebuyer needs to work within a budget, and pre-qualifying for a mortgage lets you know right off the bat how much (or how little!) you can afford to spend. Get an idea of what your monthly mortgage payment will be before looking at homes. The good news is you can get started right away! Click here to apply for a home loan and our Team Aguilar mortgage specialists will be more than happy to assist you with all your mortgage needs.
  2. Look for a neighborhood in a good school district. Even if you don’t have kids, you should keep in mind that the resale value of your house will be affected by the reputation of the school district it falls under. Apart from schools, there are several other things to look out for that could affect the future value of your home: Is it located near shopping centers or public transportation hubs? What is the state of the other houses in the area? And so on…
  3. When viewing homes, don't be a passive observer - take notes! Keeping notes on all the homes you have looked at will give structure to your decision making process. Start off by making a checklist of everything you absolutely must have in a home, and see how each home you see stacks up against that list. Write down what you liked and what you disliked about each home. Draw simple maps of the layout of each property. Refer to these notes frequently when making your final decision.
  4. Take everything into account when calculating your finances. The average homeowner has many other obligations apart from the mortgage. Utilities (power, water, sewage, etc.), periodic repair and maintenance costs and HOA fees (for condos) all have to be taken into account.
  5. Buying a house is the largest investment a person will make in his or her life, so it pays be patient and choose wisely. Don't pick the first property you visit. Make sure you look at several homes in your price range before making up your mind. Once again, keeping detailed notes of all the properties you visited will help you make in informed decision.
  6. Never jump the gun and make an offer without a property inspection. Always hire and pay for an independent property inspector to do a thorough physical inspection prior to making an offer. Making an offer first will give you a limited amount of time to conduct an inspection before being obligated to buy the house. Knowing the results of the inspection will put you at an advantage during the offer and negotiation process.
  7. Make sure you have an experienced and competent Realtor to help you with the offer process. A physical inspection done beforehand combined with an experienced Realtor by your side will put you in a strong position when negotiating the sale price. Leave nothing to chance, be sure to get everything in writing before agreeing to anything.
  8. Once the deal is done and you're ready to move into your new property, give yourself enough time to ensure the move goes smoothly. Moving is stressful enough without having to aggravate things by leaving everything to the last minute.
  9. Don't neglect homeowner's insurance! Look into this early on in the home buying process so you have plenty of time to shop around for a good policy. One good place to look is your auto insurance company - they may offer discounts to existing customers who apply for HOI.
  10. Lastly, make sure you have a good Realtor to help and guide you through the process. Feel free to contact Team Aguilar for all your real estate needs. Our agents would love to get in touch with you and answer all your questions!
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