Buying your first home can seem overwhelming — that's why it is important to choose a trusted real estate agent and relocation specialist. You always want to choose someone who is an expert in their area, especially since location is such a large part of home value and overall living atmosphere. If you are feeling a little nervous about such a huge investment, you need someone who can lead you through every step of the process. Eddy Kicker & Associates is your go-to relocation specialist for Greenville, SC and the Upstate, ready to assist you with purchasing your first home. Here are a few pointers every first-time buyer should keep in mind:
1. Location. Location can affect home values more than you may know. A quick commute to work, nearby conveniences, scenery and even school district can affect the value of your home. This is important to remember not only when buying your home but in considering the resale value. Remember that a home is an investment and you want to get the highest return possible.
2. Sweat Equity. Remodeling can add value to your home. When searching for a home, do not make the mistake of focusing only on how things look now. Remember to envision the possibilities. Kitchen, bathroom and outdoor living remodeling projects tend to add the most value to your home. Do not overlook your own skills either. Not every project requires a contractor. Sometimes, a move-in ready home is what you are looking for, but if you are up for the exciting challenge of remodeling and renovating, it can be an ideal way to add value to your home.
3. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask questions at any point throughout the home buying process. You should be comfortable with your decision. If there is something you are unsure about, ask your real estate agent. Buying a home can be a complicated process, and asking a question now is much better than having buyer's remorse later. Don't forget to ask questions about the surrounding area, history of the home, school district or any other concerns that may cross your mind.
4. Mortgage Qualification. Getting pre-approved for a loan can save you so much time and stress. That way, you can know how much the bank will lend you before even placing an offer on a home. This will keep you from putting an offer on a home you cannot afford. Note that being pre-qualified is not the same thing as being pre-approved.
Pre-qualified means that a bank gives you a rough estimate of the mortgage amount you likely qualify for. This is a quick process that does not carry the same weight as being pre-approved. Getting pre-approved is the step beyond being pre-qualified. This step requires you to provide more financial information and can give you an idea of what to expect from the loan's interest rate. After you have decided on a home, the pre-approval can become a complete mortgage application once a few more details are added.
5. Save for renovations/decorating and unexpected costs. You do not need to spend every dollar you qualify for when buying a home. You can put some of that money toward renovating, updating or decorating your home. This will help make the space feel more like your own. Also, sometimes we can't plan for everything. Things happen we don't expect. It's good to have some funds set aside for any unexpected costs that may come up.