14 Things Every Woman Needs to Know Before Buying a House
Don’t we all love the idea of owning our own homes and drooling about the outlandish decor ideas we are going to execute? However, in order to make the right decisions, we need to have the right information – or at least know where to find the right information. So, the following tips have been put together to set you off on the right footing. Here are some things every woman needs to do before buying a house.
1. Know your credit score
It’s one of the biggest factors that will determine what the terms of your loan will look like. So, be sure you know your credit score even before deciding to pursue any kind of housing loan. If your credit score is lower than 700, then you need to find ways to improve it. This is because, when you have a good score, the chances of you getting a very low-interest rate for your house are very, very high – and thus, saving you thousands of dollars over the duration of the loan.
2. Get pre-approval from a lender before shopping
One thing you need to do before you begin shopping for a new home is to ensure that you first get pre-approval. This process is essential, so take your time to shop for the lender(s) as it is a bad idea to skip it. This is because a pre-approval almost guarantees you to get a loan as long as there are no changes in your credit score or financial situation. A pre-approval letter will also put you ahead of any potential competition to another buyer of the house. Most home sellers make inquiries from their agents concerning the qualification of a potential buyer. And your pre-approval letter will be an advantage in this case.
3. Shop for the best lending deal
Don’t simply settle for the first deal you get to prevent missing out on much better ones ahead of you. The chances are that you’ll be paying off the mortgage for a while. Thus, it is important to shop for a deal that will offer you a lot of payment ease and flexibility. For example, Altrua Financial is a mortgage broker known to have the best mortgage rates currently available in the market. This helps to lessen the payment burden as you enjoy your home.
4. Be aware of every potential expense
Don’t get it wrong – buying a home comes with so many extra expenses that you need to know about. These expenses or fees go above and beyond just the mortgage. Such expenses include property taxes, association fees, home repairs, insurance payments, and so on. You also need to be sure that you have enough income or financial muscle to be able to carry all these extra financial responsibilities if they are part of your home purchase.
5. Be certain about what you are looking for
Shopping for a home cannot be compared to shopping for groceries or a gift for someone. That is unless you have a limitless financial capacity, in which case you will not need a mortgage in the first place. So be precise about what you are looking for in your future house. For example, are you looking for a home or a condo? For a lot of women buying a house for the first time, this can offer quite a dilemma. In order to make the right decision, take enough time to study the advantages and disadvantages of owning, managing, and living in the different types of houses you may be considering. Then pick out the one that best suits you.
6. Find an experienced realtor
Work with an experienced realtor with enough knowledge about the area you want to live in. Every living area is unique and comes with different challenges. A realtor that knows about all the potential dangers and benefits will be able to tell you the right worth of a house to prevent you from paying too much. Just like you would do when picking a mortgage provider, make sure you interview different real estate agents before selecting settling on one. In choosing, opt for a realtor that offers full-time services, has a successful track record, knows the area very well, and understands the market.
7. Only make a purchase you are comfortable with
In short, do not stretch beyond your means. When your credit score is very good, the chances of getting a loan that is above what you are comfortable paying for, is possible. However, do not be tempted to go for a home that could cause you to struggle to pay for it. You don’t want to be indebted by your house, so always lean on the side of caution. Stick with a price you will be comfortable paying for.
8. Be sure of every listing information
You need to ensure that you verify every information given about the building in the listing. Some real estate agents are more than capable of putting information about the building that is not accurate. This could be as a result of a lack of verification by the realtor or a lack of awareness about the real facts. Thus, it is important to know everything you can, for example, about what is permitted to stay in the home and what isn’t. In short, take the time to know what will be considered your personal property from the fixed property of the house.
9. Find a reputable home inspector
Your real estate agent can recommend a trusted and reputable home inspector to you. Or you could also select one for yourself that you know you can trust. A good home inspector will not be concerned only with making a sale but also knowing what they’re doing. If you trust your real estate agent, then you might as well trust the home inspector they recommend. Depending on where you are, you can find a home inspector from any recognized association page. For example, in America, it is best to find an inspector who is part of the American Society Of Home Inspectors.
10. Ensure all renovations are complete, done with the necessary permits
It can be very challenging sometimes to move into a building with renovation works still on-going. But what is even more challenging is buying a house that has been renovated without the necessary permit. Any renovation without a permit means that it is possible the work was not done right. And this can put you at risk. Also, purchasing a home that lacks the necessary building permits can pose a lot of challenges in the future should you decide to sell it.
11. Look out for any water-related issues
Water-related issues can pose a lot of structural problems as well as health problems to you. The major health risk is toxic mold, as it requires moisture to grow and spread out. When inspecting the house, make sure that there is no entry for exterior water or moisture into the house. Also, ensure that the area is not water-logged or prone to flooding. Ensure that a thorough inspection is conducted on the roofs to rule out any leakages. Also, check the walls for cracks and other tell-tales of potential water hazards. A professional inspector should be able to make all this information available.
12. Check for radon and asbestos
Aside from the presence of mold, asbestos and radon can pose a lot of health problems. So hire the services of a professional to rule out the presence of any of these. Asbestos is no longer a major building material. However, if the building you want to purchase was constructed more than two decades ago, then you should have it checked. Asbestos will not make any repair work more expensive, but it will also significantly reduce the resale value. Radon is an odorless and invisible gas that can be found in water and in the air. It is comparatively easy to remove radon and mold from the air. However, it is much more difficult and expensive to remove it from water. So, to be on the safer side, just avoid buildings that cannot be cleared of these substances.
13. Maintain or improve your financial situation
Your pre-approval is based on your current financial situation. However, this does not mean that nothing can change it. For example, if you get a less paying job during your application period, your application can be denied when you are ready to purchase the house. Also, you should try to avoid making certain large payments when you are trying to buy a house, as this can also cause a rejection of your loan request.
14. Does your property investment have the potential to grow?
Be sure to consult with your real estate agent on the potential growth of your investment. Factors such as the popularity of the location can determine whether the value of the house will go up in the future. This is important when you want to resell it later. Also, consider the kind of improvements to make as well as how they will affect the resale value of the house.
Photo by Tim Savage from Pexels
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