Portland is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, and many people are looking to buy a home in the area and take advantage of the wonderful lifestyle the community has to offer. With a robust market and plenty of homes on the market, how could you possibly know where to begin? First-time homebuyers in particular often have a tough time finding a starting point, and that can scare a lot of people away from the dream of home ownership.
We talked with Amanda Newton, a Real Estate Broker from Realty One Group Prestige who has helped many different home buyers find exactly what it is they need, and she offered a few helpful tips for homebuyers. Buying a home doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task, and by following these bits of advice you too can have a smoother, easier, and less stressful homebuying experience.
Learn About Financing a Home Purchase from a Licensed Mortgage Broker
An educated homebuyer is one that makes good decisions, and the best way to get educated is to talk to a professional who works with homebuyers just like yourself every day. Talking to a licensed mortgage broker is a great way to learn about the homebuying process inside and out, including exactly what you’ll need through every step of the process.
Your mortgage broker is also one of your most important resources throughout the homebuying process because they’re the one who will provide you with a pre-approval letter, which you’ll need if you want to make an offer on a home (unless you’re planning on paying cash, but that’s far from typical).
Likewise, talking to a mortgage broker can help you understand how much money you need to have on hand throughout the homebuying process. Make sure to have enough money on hand for an earnest money deposit once you do make your offer, closing costs to complete the sale, money to pay for inspections, and then moving expenses. On average, expect these costs to range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
Connect With a Few Realtors & Interview Them Before Moving Forward
Your realtor is your advocate throughout the homebuying process, and you want to make sure they’re really on your side and will fight to help you get a fair deal throughout the buying process. Running a quick online search isn’t usually the best way to choose a realtor. Instead, you’ll want to actually sit down with several different realtors and choose one who you feel is right for you. You should feel comfortable talking to them and likewise they should be experienced and capable.
Make a Short List of “Must Haves” For Your Home Search
It’s easy to make a laundry list of things you want your new home to come with, but if you narrow down your search to include all of them you may never find your new home. Your Realtor will work tirelessly to find options, only for none to ever really emerge. Instead, it’s a good idea to separate your list into two different sections: the “must haves” and “nice to haves.” Your “nice to have” things are stuff which certainly help and make your home more appealing, but they’re something you’re either willing to go without or can add for yourself later. There can be any number of these.
Your “must haves” on the other hand should be a much shorter list—no more than five ideally. These are things that you absolutely need in your home, and you can automatically rule out any home which doesn’t have them. This essentially forces you to organize your priorities into the things that you absolutely need and those which may just be added selling points in a place you want.
Get a Qualified HVAC Company to Do an Inspection
How’s the air conditioner in the home you’re considering buying? In good shape? Getting old? In need of some service? Clearly hasn’t been touched since the day it was first installed? You’ll want to know this answer before buying a home, as paying for an air conditioning repair or replacement soon after moving in is probably something you don’t want to do.
People often think their general pre-purchase home inspection covers their air conditioner, but these inspectors don’t do anything more than just a general, cursory check of your system while looking for only the most glaring of issues. Instead, you’ll want to bring a certified and highly-trained Portland HVAC professional out to your home to run a thorough test to find out what kind of condition the HVAC system is truly in.
You’ll want to do the same for other systems in your home too. An experienced and reliable Realtor will be able to guide and help you identify good and competent inspectors for your plumbing, roof, or even pest control and get the peace of mind of knowing exactly what’s going on with your home.
Let the experts from Pyramid Heating & Cooling inspect your HVAC equipment! Give us a call at (503) 783-8488 to schedule yours.