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Kathy Godin's Blog

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Help Your Real Estate Agent Find Right Home for Your Family

You want the perfect home for your family and you’ve found a real estate agent to assist you.  Did you know that even the most skilled agents need your help?

The MLS stated that 5,661 homes were for sale in Wake County last month.  To select homes for viewing the agent will ask questions.  Since buying a home is such a major purchase, prepare in advance so you can provide thoughtful, not off-the-cuff answers to your agent.  Consider this:

= Provide info on current home/apartment.  Floor plan would be helpful.  Tell agent what you liked and what you want to improve from your current situation.

= Location – Understand your reasons for desiring a location.  Some of us want to live close to our work; others want to live close to place of worship, shopping, highway, etc.

= Bedrooms/baths – Seems obvious, but since many people today use bedrooms for other purposes give this some thought.

= Yard – Consider size, trees, landscaping, etc.

= Basement – Do you want a basement (not common in Raleigh area)?  If yes, finished or unfinished?

= Porch, patio or balcony

= Heating/AC – Prefer electric, gas, etc.?  Want separate units for each floor?

= Garage

= Neighborhood – Likes & dislikes.  Your feelings toward Home Owner Associations (HOA).

= Condition of home – Some of us are handy and want to update home ourselves; some want home ready to move in.

The key is advance preparation.  Your agent is skilled in asking questions to determine what you need and what you want to avoid.  Feedback from your agent on whether your criteria are too narrow or too wide is important.  Since buying a home involves tradeoffs, knowing the priorities of your criteria will help expand or reduce scope of search.

Price.  I left this for last because it’s so so important.  Don’t guess.  Avoid the heartache of falling in love with a home you can’t buy.  Keep in mind that it’s not what you think you can afford that counts; it’s what you can borrow (unless you’re paying cash).

Your mortgage company is putting up most of the money and taking the most risk so they want a say in how much house you can afford.  Talk to your loan officer and find out how much you can borrow.  Bring a pre-approval letter to your real estate agent.  You’ll get preferred treatment because the agent and the seller will know you’re a serious buyer not just a foundation kicker.

Happy house hunting.  Feel free to offer suggestions and feedback on the above.

Kathy Godin, Branch Manager & Award-Winning Loan Officer
Originally published: http://raleighmortgagegals.com
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