4 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home This Spring
After a cold winter of seeing listings pop up on the Boston real estate market, you are finally ready to start searching for your dream home.
But where do you begin? The steps required to purchase a home may seem overwhelming, and new and experienced buyers alike often start their search without the proper preparation.
Buying a home is a complicated process, but if you ask yourself the right questions ahead of your search, you can save a lot of headaches down the line.
That’s why the team at Prevu Real Estate compiled the top questions buyers need to ask themselves before starting a search this spring.
Are your finances in order?
There is no question that purchasing a home is expensive, and chances are, most homebuyers have a foundation of savings under them.
However, before hitting the winding Boston streets, you have to ask yourself if your budget is ready for purchasing too. Boston homebuyers have to consider down payments, closing costs, and fees for inspectors and attorneys.
It can be intimidating for aspiring homeowners to find their ideal Charlestown home, only to learn that the closing costs put the house outside their budget. That’s why you should come prepared with a pre-approval letter from a lender.
Homeowners want to offload their property as soon as possible, as they too have to find a new home to live in. That’s why sellers usually choose the buyer who is well qualified and can quickly transact on a home. One of the best ways to demonstrate this is with a pre-approval letter from your lender.
Getting a pre-approval will give you peace of mind. It tells you how much you can actually afford. Once you feel confident about your financial position, the next question to ask is if you have an expert in your corner ready to represent their interests.
Are you working with the right agent?
Searching for home listings online is easy, but the finer points of a real estate transaction in Boston require finesse.
That is why serious homebuyers in Boston need to partner with the right buyer’s agent. Your agent should guide you through the transaction process, take the lead on crafting a negotiation strategy, and help you find other target homes if you lose out on your first place.
Savvy buyers need every advantage they can get in this competitive market and working with the right agent can help unlock hidden value to make higher offers. As you interview buyers agents, make sure to ask if they offer commission rebates. Legal in 40 states, including Massachusetts, this practice of rebates enables your agent to provide a portion of their broker fee back to you at the close of the deal.
Do you have a target neighborhood?
One of the most important questions Boston homebuyers have to consider is if they know where they want to move.
Given how competitive the Boston real estate market is, buyers need to be able to make decisions quickly as bidding wars happen within a matter of days of a new listing hitting the market. Casting a wide net of towns can add unnecessary stress and indecision when it comes time to make a time-sensitive offer.
Buyers can set themselves up for success and remove some of this stress by narrowing down their search to a focused list of neighborhoods or towns that interest them most. A smart way to do this is spend time in each area and research the pros and cons of each area for your needs.
As a result, you can make a quick and informed decision without all the pressure.
What are your long-term homeownership goals?
Buying a house is a considerable investment, and purchasing a home with your heart can hamper your future homeownership goals.
If you only plan to live in a starter home for three to five years, you need to be disciplined amidst bidding wars. You may find a home you love that requires an aggressive above-list price, but overpaying on a home, plus the transaction costs, can cut into potential appreciation over a short time horizon.
Ask yourself, how long do I plan to live here? If you expect to spend the next 20 years in a home, don’t get too wrapped up in securing the deal of a century. Be aggressive and avoid the disappointment of missing out against other buyers.
This is a paid partnership between Prevu and Boston Magazine