Menu Call:1-800-400-8267 Email Us

11 Things New Homebuyers Need To Discuss Before Buying A Home

Laura - May 13, 2019

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2019/05/08/11-things-new-homebuyers-need-to-discuss-before-buying-a-home/#5484e13b6e99

POST WRITTEN BY Expert Panel, Forbes Real Estate Council

There are so many important factors to consider when beginning home buyers are ready to buy a home. Some are more obvious, such as making sure you actually love the home you are putting an offer in on, while others, like making sure you interview several real estate agents before settling on one to help you find the right house, may not be as apparent. Purchasing a home is a huge endeavor, and one that you hope you are properly prepared for, but it is inevitable that you will discover there are things you did not think of until after you have purchased your home, especially when first starting out.

To help buyers be as prepared as possible, Forbes Real Estate Council members, below, discuss what they think is often overlooked by homebuyers preparing to purchase a home. Here's what members have to say:

1. Explore Financing Options With Your Lender

Most homeowners assume a 30 year mortgage, yet most don't stay in their homes for 30 years. There are mortgage products that can better align with a buyer's financial and timing preferences, and even with prior military service, such as a VA loan. Studying these options and selecting the best one for you will make a difference in your monthly payments and over the ownership term. - Deborah Rabbino Bhatt, Vesta New York

2. Be Thorough With The Underwriting Process

I encourage my clients to be completely thorough with the underwriting process prior to making an offer on a home. Any website or lender can generate a pre-qualification letter in five minutes flat, but it's not a guarantee that the loan will go through. Taking the time to have the lender completely underwrite the buyer presents a strong statement to the seller and ensures there will be no hiccups in regards to the loan. - Tanya Delahoz, Dwell Summit

3. Examine How Long Homeowners Stay In Your Prospective Neighborhood

Most homebuyers will ask how much their prospective property was listed for in the past and when it last sold, but they won’t ask the same about their new neighbors. It is important to know if and how the inventory is moving in close proximity to your purchase to determine what the true value of your investment is and will be, and more importantly, why owners are leaving so fast — or not at all. - Ralph Dibugnara, Home Qualified

4. Win With Small Down Payments

Make a small down payment rather than a larger one. Your ROI from home equity is always zero. A smaller down payment means that you have greater leverage. With mortgage interest rates still near historic lows, it often makes sense to borrow more. Avoid opportunity cost and re-invest the difference elsewhere. This keeps you liquid and flexible. High LTV ratios on 30 year fixed rate loans win today. - Keith Weinhold, Get Rich Education

5. Consider The Maintenance Costs

The cost of maintaining a home can often be surprising, and something first-time buyers are unfamiliar with. Home ownership is a wonderful investment that comes with many responsibilities. First-time buyers often seem completely unaware of what the real costs are to maintain a yard or repair an HVAC unit. Look into all possible costs and explore hedging some of that risk with a home warranty. - Mark Bloom, NetWorth Realty

6. Slow Down And Review All The Details

Almost all industry professionals are guilty of moving too fast, which makes it difficult for a home buyer to do their due diligence. Moving fast leads to mistakes, such as a less significant mistake, like not shopping for a mortgage, or a more consequential mistake, like overpaying. Buyers should slow down and review every step from searching for a home to reviewing the closing statement. - Z Otto Bonahoom, Bohouse Investment Group

7. Don't Ignore Tax Strategies

Short- and long-term cap gains impact everyone's bottom line. My neighbor sold their house two weeks before being there for two years. Using the capital gains exclusion, their gain would have been tax-free. My staff member used a “two and out” strategy. Live in the primary home for two years; sell it for a tax-free gain. Repeat three times and their house is mortgage free with an e-line used for flipping. - Ross Hamilton, Connected Investors

8. Check The Neighborhood At All Times Of The Day

Walking the neighborhood and home at all times of the day and in different conditions is often overlooked. This can highlight issues that might not have been apparent: Does Waze send a high volume of traffic down the street during rush hour? Is there a firetruck or ambulance route nearby that can wake a light sleeper? Does water pool on the property after rain? Does late-day sun overheat the home? - BJ Turner, Dunleer

9. Plan For All Aspects Of The Future

When going through the process of purchasing a home, it's easy to fall in love with the "it house," dream about its possibilities and lose sight of planning for all possible scenarios. The process should include the validation of: Can I rent and/or sell the property in the event I need to leave? Do the qualities that I love most about the home appeal to just me, or to many? - Jason Weissman, Boston Realty Advisors

10. Interview More Than One Agent

A home is typically the biggest investment most people make in their lifetime, yet, according to surveys by National Association of Realtors, seven in 10 buyers interview only one real estate agent during their home search. Buyers need to consider more than one agent and should look for a neighborhood expert that knows the market, street by street and house by house. - Lane Hornung, zavvie

11. Consider All Expenses When Calculating Home Budget

Many buyers can easily be misled when a lender tells them how much they can spend on a home. When expenses such as trash collection, water bills and higher utility costs are not taken into consideration, buyers are unpleasantly surprised when what they assumed was affordable becomes less so. Also, many do not take into consideration the possibility of tax assessments or unexpected repairs. - Joe Houghton, RE/MAX Results/The Minnesota Property Group Team