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7 Clever Tips that May Get you a Better Price on the Home You’re Buying

Many hopeful homeowners crunch the numbers to see how their current monthly rent or mortgage payment stacks up to what they *hope* their future monthly mortgage payment may be. While this is a great jumping off point, buyers often neglect to factor in the other costs involved in buying (and then maintaining) a home. And these small details could cost you thousands. Luckily, we have compiled a list of tips that could save you both time and money when planning to buy a new home.

Get in on the Housing Market…  Now
Currently, in North Houston, there are thousands (and thousands) of homes on the market. In prior years, there were even more. Because there are fewer homes available (otherwise known as a “seller’s market,” now it is a profitable time for home sellers to put their homes on the market.

Likewise, home buyers who invest now will capitalize on the improving North Houston housing market. According to one KW Professionals Realtor,  “some will miss this market because they were waiting for the ‘perfect home.’ If the perfect home does exist, 25 other buyers will find it too and there will be a huge feeding frenzy, driving the price higher and higher.”

Instead, home buyers need to find a home that meets a few of their wants and most of their needs. Get into the market now assures that your new home will most likely begin to start appreciating in value.

Look at ALL expenses when budgeting for the home
When budgeting for the house of your dreams, don’t stop with principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.  Be sure to add in utilities, the cost of commuting, and any upgrades you plan on making.

If you are moving further away from the places you frequently visit, how much more will you spend on gas? Take all these expenses into account when allocating a budget for a new home.

Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan
There’s a big difference between being pre-qualified and being pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-qualified applicants are often given a wide range of loan amounts to work within, however, getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know exactly how much you can afford and how much they will lend you.

Gaining a pre-approval will give you a better idea of how much you can spend on a new home so you can save time looking only at homes you know you can afford.

A pre-approval also gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best deal and the best interest rates. Do your research: learn about the fees and make sure there are no hidden costs in the loan you are about to get.

Check Local Property Tax
Usually levied on the state, county, and city level, property taxes pay for local services such as public schools, roadways, and sewers. The local tax office assesses the value of your home and correlates the taxes to the value.

Be sure to watch out for changing city or county boundary lines that could affect your taxes and be aware that some neighborhood-cities require residents to pay additional property taxes.

Look at the Homeowners Association Contract
Be sure to read the fine print in your HOA documents. Look out for restrictions on home businesses, animals, nighttime noise rules, limitations on the number renters, and patio prohibitions that you may not have previously considered. If your HOA contract inhibits your lifestyle or your plans for the future, it may cost you more than you had expected.

Homeowners’ Insurance: Do your Research
Homeowners’ insurance is required due to the fact that your home is a liability to your lender should it go up in flames and the property is rendered worthless.

The cost of insurance varies widely and depends largely on the location and the value of your home. There are also added costs if you live in an area prone to flooding or other natural disasters.

Do yourself a favor and find the best insurance for your home. This can save you money in the long run.

Remember: There Are No Stupid Questions
Before putting in an offer on the home you want, make sure you ask your Realtor as many questions as possible — and get the important answers in writing.

Buying a new home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life.  Don’t miss something seemingly small that could cost you tons of money in the future!


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