Street signs saying decision, right, wrong


Many home buyers do little to no research before they invest their nest eggs.  Doesn’t it make sense to become as informed as possible before you buy your first home?  An experienced real estate professional can help you make sound decisions based on your personal situation.

1. Inspect, Inspect and Inspect – Go over the inspection report with a fine-toothed comb. Make sure the report was prepared by a professional organization, or choose one on your own. For condo purchases, go over the CC&Rs, Bylaws, and Association Fees. Don’t take anything for granted. Inspect every detail to ensure you don’t miss something important.

2. Imagine the Property Vacant – Your furnishings and decorations will be the ones filling this new residence. Don’t be swayed by beautiful furniture; it will leave with the seller unless you have made other arrangements with them. If the property is already vacant when you tour it, keep in mind that rooms look much larger when empty than when filled with furniture.

3. Income + Lifestyle = Mortgage Payment (Shop your lenders) – Sit down with your professional real estate agent and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. Don’t forget about future considerations, like children and planned renovations. Your dream home is certainly worth a bit of sacrifice up front, but you don’t want to put your entire future at risk.

4. View Several Homes – Aim to see at least 7 to 10 properties before making your final decision. Don’t move too slowly, but don’t immediately jump on the first property you see either. With your agent’s help, you should be able to view enough properties to get a good overall perspective of the current home market in your target area. When you find the right property, all the leg work will be worth it.

5. Utilize Your Team (US) – By aligning yourself with the right real estate professional, you will have an entire team at your disposal. Utilize your lender, title officer and real estate agent. Each of them should work hand in hand for your benefit. Explore all of your options and get all of your questions answered before signing anything.

6. Be a Detective – Check out all costs and expenses before you sign, including utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance and homeowner’s association dues, if applicable.  Make sure all utilities (gas, electricity, and water) are turned on during your inspection so you can be sure everything is in working order.  Ask lots of questions and be very detail-conscious.

7. Do a Final Walk-Through (Verification of Property) – Visit the property after all furnishings have been moved out to be sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely positive the property was left exactly as you had agreed upon in the contract.  Things that couldn’t have been spotted until the final walk-through can often be overlooked, even if unintentionally.