YOU NEED A LIST OF REQUIREMENTS
After you get prequalified and know how much you can afford in a home, make a list of your needs and wants. You may need 3 bedrooms for your household and you may want a home with a view. Separating out your two lists will help you focus on what to look for. Discuss your list with your real estate agent, they will be able to tell you how many of your needs and wants will be met versus how much you can afford. If you have a large budget, you may be able to get most of both lists taken care of. If you are tight on funds, your real estate agent may offer some advice so that all your needs are met, like suggesting you look outside the area you initially intended, or show you homes where you can improvise on your needs. Be sure that you and your Henderson real estate agent are on the same page for what kind of houses you are looking for.
YOU NEED TO BE CERTAIN ABOUT THE AREA YOU LIKE
If you have an area you are determined to live in, drive there at night with the windows rolled down. If you find this experience scary or find that a neighbor has a really loud, obnoxious garage band, you may want to look elsewhere.
BE ON THE SAME PAGE AS YOUR CO-BORROWERS
If you are buying a home with multiple people, make sure you are all in agreement as to the details of the real estate purchase. Are you going to utilize down payment assistance? What price range are you looking in? What do the monthly payments need to look like? What will the home be used for? Be sure to sit down, write everything down, and have everyone involved sign what you have written so there is no confusion later.
KNOW THE STATE OF THE REAL ESTATE MARKET
This will help you determine if now is a good time to buy. If real estate experts are saying that the housing market is in decline, you may want to wait till it’s at its lowest to get a great deal on a home. Purchasing a home at the start of a decline will leave you underwater and that is not a great place to be, especially if the market will continue to decline. This could result in you being stuck in that house till the housing market turns around, or you will have to short sale or foreclose on your home which will ruin your credit and make it impossible to purchase a home for the next few years.
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A 30 YEAR COMMITMENT
No, you probably won’t be stuck in that house if you need to move, but are you ready to take on a loan that will take you 30 years to pay off? If you are interested in having a family in 5 years, should you be buying a 2 bedroom? Make sure that you are ready to be in this house for at least two years (the time it takes on average for you to pay off enough of the loan to be able to sell the home and not continue to owe money on it). If you stay in the home longer than two years it’s possible that you will get money from the sale of your home, so think of this purchase as at least a 5-year commitment