Are you looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible. This applies to buying a home in Smyrna, Murfreesboro, or any other Tennessee real estate. For more essential advice for buying a home, see my Buyer Services pages.
1. Get your finances in order
Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. If you have had credit struggles, the suggestions in this recent post may help.
2. Find a house you can afford
As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. Here’s another rule – Aaron’s rule: Don’t let anyone tell you how much to spend on your house. That’s right, I’ll never pressure you to spend more than you are comfortable with. There are a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. You can find those HERE on my website. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.
3. Hire a professional
While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. Recruit a full-time agent who will be available not just on your schedule, but also be able to meet other real estate professionals, inspectors, etc. during the buying process. Find a professional who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process. Contact me for help with this if you are shopping for a home in Middle Tennessee. If you aren’t in my area, I will refer you to an expert near you.
4. Do your homework
Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. This is another area where it really pays to enlist the help of an awesome Realtor®.
5. Think long term
Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future. Your real estate agent should provide you with a list of local inspectors. (Keep in mind that when a lender requires an inspection or appraisal, they usually get to choose who does the work.)
You might also enjoy:
- Your real estate success story
- Give Aaron a shot… we are SO glad we did!
- How Accurate is Zillow?
- Does your Realtor do this?
Aaron Lovett is an incredible full-time full-service Nashville area Realtor. He’s a rare combination of real estate expert, educator, home renovator, problem solver, and marketing madman. His service area includes Smyrna, Murfreesboro, the remainder of Rutherford county and surrounding areas, including Nashville and Davidson county. He goes “above and beyond” for sellers, buyers, and investors. Aaron has lived in Middle Tennessee for over 20 years. He takes pride in helping home buyers and sellers reach their real estate goals.