Shopping for your home
Shopping For Your Home
After applying for a mortgage loan and receiving a commitment letter from the lender for a maximum loan amount, the next step is to shop for your home. There are a variety of ways to find a home that is right for you. The most common is to use a licensed real estate agent or real estate broker. The real estate agent should be a homebuyer’s agent, a licensed real estate professional that works on your behalf in the home buying process. If the agent is not a homebuyer’s agent, you must be aware that s/he works on behalf of the seller. Real estate professionals should disclose the exact nature of their relationship with you up front.
Your Las Cruces Team has Accredited Buyers Representatives (ABR®) who focus on working directly with buyer-clients at every stage of the home-buying process. We have valuable real estate education that elevates our skills and knowledge beyond that of the average real estate agent. We receive ongoing specialized information, programs, and updates that keep us knowledgeable on the issues and trends facing home buyers and we are members of the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council of the National Association of REALTORS®
Deciding Which Home to Buy
You should make a list of the practical requirements of your home such as number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, size of yard, desired neighborhood, etc. Then, an agent from Your Las Cruces Team will search on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for homes that match these criteria and fit within your approved mortgage loan amount. The printout of this MLS will also show other useful information such as available financing, average annual cost of utilities, etc.
When you decide to look at the house, you should consider many things:
- Neighborhood and community: Is this the type of neighborhood in which you and your family desire to live? How well will the area fit with your lifestyle? Factors affecting this decision include school districts, zoning, restrictive covenants in planned communities, amenities, access to public services, and character.
- Neighbors: Do they keep their own property in good repair? Do they throw loud parties on Friday nights? Are the surrounding homes occupied by renters or homeowners? Rental units sometimes change hands frequently, and could result in less overall stability for the neighborhood. Be sure to drive by the property on several different occasions to see what the neighborhood is like on the weekends, at night, or during morning rush-hour, for example. You’re trying to get a feel for whether you could live there on a long-term basis.
- Proximity to work and school: Is commuting a long distance undesirable to you? Would you like your children to be able to walk to school? Make a note of the distance and time it takes you to get to your usual daily destinations from the home. Is the major arterial street to the home congested at most hours? Is it dangerous? How accessible is it?
- Maintenance requirements: Is the home going to require major repairs? Does it need cosmetic repairs? Can you afford these repairs? We strongly recommend that prospective buyers order a home inspection and make their purchases contingent on a satisfactory inspection.
- Practical versus unrealistic requirements: Does the home have what you need for you and your family, such as an adequate number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the right size back yard, etc.? How does this house compare to other houses you’ve looked at? Perhaps you and your family members should think about rating each house on a scale of 1 to 10. This method may help you narrow your focus and get closer to a final decision.
Move to Step 6 of the home buying process
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