As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing
7 Key Pieces Of Advice To Consider Before Buying A Home In South Jersey
First-time homeowners, don’t you wish you would have known then what you know now? You know, before buying a home in South Jersey? Wouldn’t it have been great to “pick the brain” of someone with home-buying experience and years of homeownership under their belt? If someone could have shared their key pieces of advice to consider before buying a home in South Jersey, you might have avoided saying, “Ugh! I wish I would have known …,” or “I would have done things differently had I known …” Yes, hindsight is better than foresight.
So, first-time homebuyers, if you’re ready to move into the realm of homeownership, start here. Here are 7 key pieces of advice experienced homeowners want to share with you before buying a home in South Jersey:
Hire the best South Jersey real estate professional.
Buying a home in South Jersey without hiring a real estate professional will save you money on commission, but you’ll wind up on the short end of the whole home-buying process. You’ll be without anyone to advise you. The experience, skill and trust of a real estate professional who knows the South Jersey market is worth every commission dollar spent.
Know how much house you can afford before buying a home in South Jersey.
Submit for pre-qualification and/or pre-approval for a home loan with your lender and then do your homework. You might qualify for a $250,000 mortgage, but your budget may be telling you to stick to $175,000. It doesn’t matter how much you qualify for. You must be able to pay your bills now and each month after closing. Your mortgage should allow room to save for unexpected expenses, such as a major appliance that needs replacing.
Shop only for South Jersey homes in areas you know you can afford.
Shop for homes that are not beyond what you can afford. Don’t allow your heart to gloss over the facts. You must look past that big, beautiful backyard, the garage and all those windows. Look at the facts and your monthly budget.
Shop for a South Jersey home with a yard you’ll have time to maintain.
Think ahead. Flower beds and vegetable gardens, shrubs and sculpted bushes require weeding, watering and pruning. Can you afford the time it will take to maintain such beauty? If not, think low-maintenance as you shop.
Look at the home thoroughly before buying a home in South Jersey.
You must look at buying a home differently than you have been looking at renting an apartment or a home. Instead of looking at how big the closets are and whether or not your furniture will fit in the rental, look for possible issues that could cost you in the long run. How big the closets are and whether or not your furniture will fit the rental take a backseat (way in the back!) to more important things such as a home’s heating or cooling systems. For example, how old is the furnace? Will the pilot light stay lit faithfully? When temperatures drop below 40 degrees, you won’t appreciate a fickle pilot light! Did you see that hole in the basement ceiling? Why is it there? Could there be a leak in the plumbing on the first floor?
Before you consider buying a South Jersey home, even before you make an offer, really look at that home. Ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to put your nose close to the carpet. You could save yourself thousands in extra repairs after closing.
Turn on all the faucets
Flush the toilet(s)
Turn the thermostat up to 90
Fire up the wood-burning stove to check the condition of the firebox and flue
Grab a flashlight and peek under the beds
Move furniture around
Knock on the walls if the basement is finished. Do they sound hollow?
Take a peek up on closet shelves
Open the dishwasher
Open the dryer
Don’t succumb to pressure when buying a home in South Jersey.
If there are multiple offers on a home you looked at, take the time to look at it thoroughly. Look at the facts and your monthly budget. If someone else gets the bid, that may be very disappointing. But remember, haste makes waste. When you succumb to pressure, you are more likely to do something you’ll regret later.
Take your time when buying a home in South Jersey.
Some say the average amount of time it takes to find and buy a home is 12 weeks. Yes, it may take less time to finally close on a home, but don’t plan on it. When you’re renting, you pay month-to-month on your lease if possible and take your time. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured by someone else’s timeline. Remember, haste makes waste.
Buying a home in South Jersey will probably be the largest purchase you will ever make. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on a home, then be smart about it before you buy. Hire Sam Lepore of Long & Foster Real Estate, do the math and make a smart home-buying decision you can afford now and later.
Sam Lepore is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Moorestown, NJ. Call him today at 856.297.6827 ....