Our previous article discussed the primary steps to take in order to accomplish a home purchase. Once a tenacious and cohesive realtor and lender team is decided, it's time to move on to the most enjoyable part of the home purchase journey: house shopping.
Since there are usually compromises that have to be made when buying a home, it's highly advisable to identify and prioritize wants and needs. The needs are the essentials like a specific number of bedrooms to accommodate the household size, or an extra parking space for a work vehicle or RV. The wants are everything one would hope for—all the desired luxuries, but not crucial must-haves, such as gigantic kitchen island or breathtaking views of Mt. Bachelor. One of the most common give-and-take scenarios takes place when marrying a buyer's dream home and ideal location. Usually, one or the other is sacrificed slightly.
The best way to understand what is truly desired in a home is to visit various homes in multiple locations. Shopping online is a great way to identify properties, but nothing compares to boots on the ground and eyes on the property along with all of its surroundings. Often this part of the process is evolutionary. Buyers may conceptually believe they like certain finishes, floor plans or neighborhoods, but after experiencing it first hand, might change their mind or priorities. It's also important to visit the home at different times during the day, which gives a realistic idea of what to expect during rush hour, after work or on the weekends.
After the perfect home is found and there is an accepted offer, now what? The next step that will take place during the inspection due diligence period is the professional home inspection to make sure the home and systems are functioning properly. The inspector will issue a report, usually in digital format with descriptions and ample pictures of the findings along with suggested maintenance and solutions or remedies for needed repairs. An important and often overlooked area of the report is the location of key utility shut off points, make sure to make note of where gas, water and electricity shut off locations are.
Your realtor will help prepare a repair addendum which addresses areas that need attention in the home, and repairs or compensation will be negotiated between the buyer and seller. It's often that buyers will ask a seller to fix leaky pipes, old smoke detectors, improperly functioning windows and sometimes more critical items like HVAC systems, roofs or structural issues. While the seller isn't obligated to perform repairs, it's usually good practice to mend reasonable items or offer a credit which helps the buyer fix those items.
Once repair negotiations have been reached, contingencies satisfied, appraisal completed and financing approved, the team of agent, lender and escrow officer work together to ensure a successful, timely closing.