Maya Vander is an expert in all things real estate. A star of the Netflix series Selling Sunset, she is introducing her own real estate course, From Idea to Reality A Journey Of Innovation And Expansion. The Miami-based realtor says that these 10 tips are indispensable for prospective homebuyers.
Be honest with yourself about how much you can afford. Calculate your income and expenses to understand what monthly payment you will be comfortable with – be sure to include property taxes, insurance and homeowner’s association dues.
Get your pre-approval letter from a lender (unless you’re buying with cash). In this market you want to be as ready as possible. Having a pre-approval letter will formalize your budget and prove to sellers that you are serious and ready to buy.
Be honest with yourself about your lifestyle and needs. Do you want a walkable neighborhood, do you need to be close to work, are schools important to you? Make sure you don’t compromise on your must-haves to avoid buyer’s remorse.
Buying now means you are buying in a seller’s market. Your offer will need to be strong to be competitive, and you will be paying more than if had you purchased the same house one or years ago. Dated comps are now irrelevant.
MORE FOR YOU
Always get inspections so you know what you are buying. Every house will need repairs, and reports can be very intimidating, so be sure the inspector highlights the key takeaways for you, and, ideally, be present while the inspections are conducted.
You do not need to see 50 properties before making a decision. If you enter a property and it feels right, go for it. The best properties will receive multiple offers quickly in this market, and you don’t want to miss your window of opportunity to buy what you want.
Work with an agent that has your best interest at heart. Your agent should guide you through the process and provide thoughtful, honest advice along the way. You want to work with someone that will maximize your outcome, not their own commission.
Shop your interest rate. Speak to at least three different lenders. Your go-to lender may be constrained by his or her institution, so make sure you are getting the best rate the market has to offer by exploring multiple options.
Remember to include closing costs in your budget. These are fees that you will need to pay when purchasing a property and increase total costs you need to close, which include title insurance, escrow fees, possibly transfer taxes (depending on where you live), etc.
Drive the neighborhood. Get the feel for it in different hours of the day. Does it feel safe at night? Do you want to wake up and come home to this place every day for the foreseeable future? If so, you may have found your new home!