Compare Listings

Advice for First Time Grand Rapids Home Buyers

Pre-Qualification:

 Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.

Pre-Approval:

While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.

List of Needs & Wants:

Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.

Representation by a Professional:

 Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.

Focus & Organization:

In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:

  1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
  2. A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
  3. Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
  4. Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
  5. Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?

Visualize the house empty & with your decor:

Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?

Be Objective: 

Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.

Be Thorough:

A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:

  1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
  2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
  3. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
  4. You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).

All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.

img

Marilyn

It’s no coincidence that Marilyn Hazard is at the forefront of the Grand Rapids real estate industry. She is a fierce advocate for her clients by providing effective negotiating skills, has an unbelievable ability to adapt to the ever changing real estate market and an unmatched work ethic. She is a full time Associate Broker with Keller Williams North and holds CRS, GRI & ABR designations, also a member of: GRAR, MAR & NAR.

Related posts

4 Reasons to Buy this Winter 2019

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home...

Continue reading

5 Reasons to List Your House For Sale This Holiday Season

1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of...

Continue reading

How Low Interest Rates Increase Your Purchasing Power

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey,interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate...

Continue reading

Join The Discussion