Is there anything more terrifying and exciting as buying a home? If you’re like most people, you will likely only buy one or two homes in your lifetime. Unless you work in real estate, and this is your specialty, you’re bound to have questions. Here are the top 6 home buying questions we have found and the answers your’re looking for!
What Can I Afford?
The house you can afford depends on your financial obligations you have currently and how much money you make. Car loans, credit card debt are taken into account when determining how much you would be eligible to take on for a mortgage. There is a Home Affordability Calculator on realtor.com that can give you an idea of what to expect before you get pre-approved. It is a good idea to do this before you go house shopping if you are not ready to go to the bank for a pre-approval from a lender. If you have an idea of what you can afford, you will look at homes in your price point and not get your heart set on a home you can not afford.
Can I Buy a Home and Sell My Current One at the Same Time?
The short answer is yes. It is not easy, but possible. One option is when you find the home you want to buy, you could include a sale contingency in the contract. This contingency says that you will buy the home only when you sell yours. This contingency could save you from some difficult situations. If you sell your home before you find another home to buy, you might have to rent or stay with family until you find the right home. If you buy a house before you sell yours, you would have two mortgages to carry, which might not be possible financially. The only potential problem with this contingency is the seller might not want to wait for you to sell your home. Selling your home and buying a new one at the same time is a delicate balancing act.
What do you think is a fair price the seller would accept?
You never know a person’s motives for selling their home, so that’s a tough question to answer. They could be eager to move and accept a low ball offer, or they could have a number in mind and won’t budge from their listing price. In general, if you want to offer less than the asking price of a home, a fair number would be about 5% below the asking price. A seller would most likely not be offended by that offer, and you could feel good about getting a little off the sales price. Check out our Guide to Buying a House for more tips.
How many homes should I see before I make an offer?
You don’t want to feel like you’re giving up your search too quickly, but you’re tired of looking for a house and you think you might have found “the one.” What’s a good number of houses to check out before it’s safe to make the leap? The average number of homes a buyer looks at before making an offer is 10. However, everyone is different. It is so easy to search for a home on sites like Leighton Realty, many people look at more than 10 houses. The point is that there is no right answer. It is up to you to determine when is the right time to make the leap and make an offer on your home. If you find a house you love, don’t ignore your gut. Waiting could cost you the home because someone else could scoop it up!
How do I know if a property is a good deal?
This is one of those home buying questions that could be answered very simply. A qualified and seasoned real estate agent will ensure that the home that you’re buying is a good deal. If you want to do your own research, check the comps in your neighborhood (or comparable properties) that have recently sold. It is important that these properties are in the same neighborhood as the house you’re looking to buy. Homes with the same setup in the neighborhood that you’re looking at should be priced around the house’s sales price you’re looking to purchase. A property inspection (as mentioned in our blog “Hidden Costs of Buying a Home“) will also tell you whether the house is a good deal or if it will be a money pit.
What if I change my mind?
Whether it’s cold feet or a problem with the property, buyers sometimes change their mind about buying the home they put an offer on, this is one of the most common home buying questions. If it’s just cold feet, walking away will cost you the earnest money that was put down on the house. Earnest money is usually 1-2% of the home’s price to show that the buyer is serious about purchasing. However, if there is a problem with the property, walking away could be covered in a contingency. A couple typical contingencies would be based on a satisfactory property inspection or appraisal. If the home is not structurally sound, you could walk away from buying the house with your earnest money because it’s covered in the contingency. If the bank does an appraisal on the house, and the bank does not think it’s worth how much you’re paying for it, a contingency could cover that too. So there are ways to walk away from buying the house if you choose. Talk with your real estate agent about the contingencies you could put into your offer to make sure that you’re covered.
Did we answer your Top 5 Home Buying Questions?
If you still have home buying questions after reading this blog, contact Michael Leighton and his team at Leighton Realty. Michael has been the #1 Ocean Edge Sales Agent since 2004 and the #1 Sales Agent in Brewster since 2007. Check out our testimonials page to hear from our past and current clients.