What to know before you buy
Below are a couple helpful links to school districts and a zip code map of Las Vegas. We’ve also included some personal thoughts on the home buying process, steps to home buying, and information on having the right mindset before beginning your search. Please look over the information below, and hopefully you will find it helpful while conducting your home search.
When buying a home I cannot stress enough the importance of having specific goals and an overall plan before doing anything else. I understand that the urge to look at homes can be very strong, and sometimes we get very emotional when buying a home, but these two things alone can damage your future happiness. Remember as children when your parents would take you to a toy store, and often times you would leave disappointing because you weren’t able to have a certain toy or game? Well, now that we are adults the new toy is real estate, but the same rules apply. To avoid the trauma of finding the perfect home only to not be able to purchase it (even if you can afford it), you must have your goals and your plan determined first.
A perfect example is the person who needs a loan to purchase a home but has not complete the loan approval process before house hunting (I still can’t believe that some Realtors will allow home buyer’s to be put in this position). Although it still happens with over-anxious agents that fail to understand that without loan approval (or cash verification) any offer submitted to a seller isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. How can you offer someone money that you don’t have? Without a commitment letter stating that a bank has agreed to lend you the money; why would a seller believe that you are “good for it”? Many Realtors fail to understand this very simple philosophy, and it has become the basis of many problems that could have been easily avoided. Obtaining loan approval is a fairly easy process, and it should only take a few days to complete. Remember, this is just one example of not having your goals and your plan together first.
First step; talk with a Real Estate Professional who will help you put together your goals and a solid plan to achieve them.
Second step; if your goals are doable at this time, you should immediately secure your financing (a Realtor can also help you find quality Financial Professionals to assist with the loan). You want to choose someone that can give you the most options and offer competitive rates/fees.
Third step; now that you know what price you’re comfortable with, it’s time to locate properties in that price range that fit your needs. This process will require a list of wants and needs from you so that your Realtor can search for homes based on your requirements. As we all know, our wants and needs usually extend further than our finances will allow. This is normal, and requires slowly prioritizing items until we arrive at a realistic expectation, so we can begin the previewing of properties.
Fourth step; once we narrow down our selection we’ll submit the offer with the loan approval letter, and await the seller’s decision.
Fifth step; (after receiving the accepted offer) we’ll open escrow with a title company, submit our “Good Faith” deposit (aka EMD), schedule whatever inspections you feel necessary, and coordinate the signing of all remaining paperwork.
Sixth step; once everything is signed, the appraisal is completed, your loan funds are sent to escrow, and all other requirements are met; you will receive the keys, and begin enjoying your new home. This is the “in a perfect world” process, and there are a number of factors that could take place during this process that may alter the flow somewhat, but if everything goes as it should the above scenario will be what happens.
Your ability to control your emotions throughout the process will help you tremendously. This is a tough one, and easier said than done, but if not removed you will likely lose many hours of sleep and plenty of discouragement in your house-hunting process. You should be confident that when you write an offer on a home you are pleased with the home. Although, if for some reason your offer is not accepted, don’t become too discouraged or feel that this home was your long lost soul-mate. Many buyers have their first offers rejected, simply because they thought they could bargain with the seller/bank only to find that may not have been the best idea. Sellers/banks want top dollar and buyers want the lowest price. These two expectations can obviously not happen without proper negotiation and compromise. Home buying is not an exact science; you must understand that buyers and sellers are just people and they don’t always do what you expect. This is why it’s so important to know what you want, what you are able to afford, and what your overall goals are before beginning the home buying process.
Questions to ask yourself regarding your next real estate purchase:
- Why am I purchasing real estate?
- What am I willing or able to invest in this purchase, down payment & monthly payment?
- What specific needs or wants am I looking for?
- How will this purchase fit into my long-term goals?
- What is my timeframe for purchasing a home?
- Are my goals realistic in the current real estate market?
These are just a few questions that you might want to answer before getting too involved in your home purchase.
Real Estate in my opinion is the most secure investment that I’ve ever made. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t make that first investment. I thought the real estate market (when I started out) was at its peak, but I still invested, going against what other’s warned me of. That first property alone tripled in value in less than three years. I took a chance; I wasn’t a savvy investor, I didn’t know what the market was going to do, I was warned by the “experts” around me I should wait, but I decided to just take a chance. I share this with you because you may very well be where I was, and not sure of what to do. You’re probably hearing stories from friends and family about how they lost their home or how they wish they wouldn’t have bought a home when they did. However, we’re in a new era now, and though the market has changed a lot in recent years, the same rules still apply. You want to find a home that you can afford, enjoy transforming your house into a home, build equity through appreciation, and hopefully someday in the future you will have nice nest-egg built up.
Just remember to always make decisions based on your goals, with a clear head, knowing exactly what you want, and just go for it. On the other hand; if you decide not to own a home, you can be certain that you will always live in someone else’s property, never have control to customize your home, and ultimately be forced to move-out whenever the owner decides. This was not acceptable to me personally, and I’m so glad that I’m in a position to help other people break-free from that lifestyle and experience the feeling of owning a home of their own.
Feel free to call or email me to discuss your goals, questions, or current options. I would happy to review your situation, provide you with accurate professional advice, and help you develop a plan to purchase a home in the future (if you’re not ready now). We provide all of our buyers services at no cost to you, and we have many helpful resources that we can refer you to (credit repair, home financing, etc.). We look forward to helping you now and in the future.