Top 10 Tips for Buyers

#1 Check your credit. Correct any errors, try to repair any damage, and establish two years of reliable payment history before you apply for a mortgage.

#2 Save. Plan for your down payment, closing fees, attorney fees, and other expenses, including moving, repairs and insurance.

#3 Get financing. Before house-hunting, visit a bank to get pre-approved, or go online and get pre-qualified for a specified mortgage amount. 

#4 Live within your means. Getting in over your head on a home loan will lead to disaster, so only buy what you can afford.

#5 Comparison shop. Compare the house you want with others in the neighborhood to see if it’s overpriced – or if there’s a better property to suit your needs.

#6 Put it in writing. Never negotiate with a seller in person. Make your offer in writing, and get any changes signed by both parties. 

#7 Be willing to negotiate. Make a list of deal-breakers, and be both flexible and creative about everything else.

#8 Get the right mortgage. Explore all of your financing options and consult a financial advisor. Shop around to get the best rate for your preferred mortgage type.

#9 Hire an independent home inspector.  You’ll get an objective assessment of the house, including potential problems or repairs you’ll need down the road.

#10 Take a final walk-through on closing day. This is your last chance to check for damages and make sure everything you’re expecting is included with the house.