Whether you're a first-time home buyer or an old pro, it's helpful and important to research the real estate market before buying a home. Knowing what kind of homes are available and what to expect from the buying experience can help you be prepared. These tips can help.
Look at Listings
Before making any decisions about where to buy and what kind of home to purchase, future buyers should start looking at listings in the neighbourhoods they're considering. Looking at pictures and prices can help buyers get a sense of what kind of homes are available. They'll also start to get a sense of what features are typical in homes, so they'll know what to prioritize when they're making their home purchase wish lists.
Once the buyer has looked at listings, then it's time to start exploring neighbourhoods. It's one thing to see the homes in pictures online, but it's very different to see homes in their actual environments, up close and personal. Wandering into home showings that are happening while exploring these neighbourhoods can also be very useful.
When looking at neighbourhooods, the home buyer should be watching for many things. For example:
- What is the condition of the homes in each neighbourhood?
- What services are available in the area and are they useful?
- What will the buyer's commute time be like?
- Are there noises in the area that could bother the buyer (such as noise from traffic or airplanes)?
The buyer should also assess the condition of the roads and sidewalks in the area. Buyers who have children or pets and who go out for walks frequently may prioritize good roads and pathways for walking.
Know Home Prices and Your Budget
Homes clustered together in neighbourhoods tend to stay in the same price range. Once a buyer knows which neighourhoods where they want to purchase a home, they can start talking to lenders to find out if they'll be approved to purchase a home in that price range. This can help the home buyer set a budget.
In some cases, this exercise may reveal that the buyer cannot afford a home in the neighbourhood where they would like to buy. When this happens, they can start looking in other neighbourhoods. This is a part of the research process, and can help the buyer avoid a long and unsuccessful home buying experience.
Hot or Not? Find Out
Some real estate markets are hot. Homes go quickly, and often for more money than the price on the listing. In a competitive seller's market, home buyers must be financially prepared and highly organized during their home search.
Buyers who are pre-approved, know exactly what to look for, and are able to make an offer fast are more likely to get the home they want. Buyers who are slow to act and who are not financially ready to get a mortgage may find the buying experience to be frustrating or even impossible.
Buyers who are just entering the market should find out in advance what kind of home buying experience to anticipate. This way, they can be prepared.
Meet with a Real Estate Professional
If you're a West Springs home buyer who would soon like to enter the real estate market in your area, now is the time to find a real estate agent. A good agent can help prepare you for the experience of buying a home by teaching you about what to look for during a showing, what to expect during the purchase process, and other details. Start your home buying experience by finding a real estate professional today.