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Tips For Spring House Hunting

Spring is in the air!  For many of us, it is time to start thinking about yard work and what projects you want to do around the house.  For others though, it signals a season of heart palpitations and panic.  Yes I’m referring to that often tense time of the year when bidding wars cause the blood to stir in many house hunters!  If you fall into this category, don’t worry – here are some tips to help get the home of your dreams: 

Get Pre-Approved – when thinking about purchasing a home, this is definitely one of the first steps that you should take.  Speak to a mortgage broker and find out what you will be able to afford.  Next, work with your broker to get Pre-Approved as this will actually give you buying power.  You will know what you will be able to spend on a home in the event of a bidding-war and it will also show that you are a serious homebuyer.

Work With Professionals – having a great professional team behind you is key.  It is important to work with an Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) and a reputable realtor.  Their experience and knowledge will help you to navigate the housing waters.  An experienced realtor will be able to best represent your interests in finding a home that is suited to you.  They will also be a valuable asset during negotiations.  An AMP has access to many lenders and specialty mortgage products.  They will be able to match the right product and lender with you to ensure you get the best mortgage rate you qualify for.

Kick The Tires (so to speak) – it has often been said that there are two ways to look at a house – with your head (realistically) and with your heart (emotionally).  It is hard not to get caught up in the look of a home and start to image where all of your things would go and how the kids and dog would love the backyard.  You need to keep in mind that sellers are trying to appeal to your esthetic values and tug on those heart strings.  It is important to look beyond the shiny new hardwood floors or paint job and check to see how the job was done.  Look beyond the surface appearance and look at the bones of the house.  If something looks out of place or not quite right, don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper.  Look up and look down to make sure you don’t miss anything.  (Mom always said to bring a marble with me when I was viewing houses.  You can use it to make sure that floors etc are level!)       

Ask Questions – a smart home-buyer will have a list of questions ready to ask as they view the house.  Make sure they are realistic and get to the bottom of what you want to know.  Ask about such things as the furnace, warranties and property taxes.  A few simple questions will go a long way to avoid any surprises in the future.

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