This blog is designed to provide basic information about buying residential property. It can be applied pretty much to any part of the U.S.
Before you can start, you need to decide what it is that you’re looking for (I will go into much more detail on this later in part 2). I would also add that you need to know why you’re looking to buy a house. Are you ready to settle down and make a long-term commitment? The days of buying and rapidly flipping property for a profit are gone (at least for now). Are you ready to give up your liquidity and your mobility? Are you prepared to fix things around your house yourself (there is no landlord to call from here on out)?
For those of you still with us, I will assume that you answered yes to most of the questions above. Now it is time to go out and find a lender. You’re Realtor or the people you bank with should be able to point you in the right direction. Going over your finances with a stranger is not fun, but it is the crucial first step in buying a house. You need to know with certainty the maximum amount you qualify for BEFORE YOU GO LOOK AT ANY HOUSES. Why would you want to go and look at $300,000 houses if the maximum you qualify for his $200,000? This will also tell you what your monthly payment will be and how much you will need for a down payment. Any good listing agent will also require at least a letter of prequalification from your lender before they accept any offer you put forward. It also doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion from a different lender. Competition is a good way to get the best interest rate you possibly can when it comes time to lock or close your transaction.
If you don’t have a Realtor yet, now is the time to find one. Ask your friends and/or business acquaintances who they used. Where they happy with the work he or she did for them? You’re lender will undoubtedly know at least one Realtor they feel comfortable working with. Remember, if the Realtor can’t find you a house, the lender doesn’t get paid either. Look for someone who takes the time to listen to what it is that you are looking for. A good Realtor will show you what YOU want to buy, not what they think you should buy. Do they only show you properties they themselves have listed to sell (if so, run, they are not looking after your best interests)? It is also important to remember that a Realtor can help you with both new and resale homes. If you want to go look at new homes, make sure your Realtor takes you on your first visit to the property. If you don’t, you may waive your right to have someone representing you at the negotiating table. If your a buying in Southern Nevada, I hope you would allow me the chance to represent you.
In part 2 of this Blog, I will go into more details about what to look for when buying a house. I will also go into what to do after you have found the house you want to make an offer on.
My name is Greg Hoffman. I have lived in Las Vegas since 1990 and I have been a Realtor here since 1999.