Searching through Canton homes for sale can be an exhausting experience at times. From narrowing down lists of must-haves to contacting real estate agents to attending tours, prospective buyers put a lot of effort into securing a property they’re proud to call home. And the journey continues beyond the moment you find a home you love.
Once you find a home you love, follow these five steps to make your purchase transaction as smooth as possible.
Evaluate your finances
When you finally find a home you love, your first step should be to examine your finances.
If you require a mortgage, get a mortgage pre-approval to ensure your purchasing loan will be accepted. You’ll also need to make an initial down payment upon purchasing, which typically amounts to 20% of the home’s total value. While it’s possible to put less money down, that route involves an additional monthly payment through private mortgage insurance.
Remember to account for the associated costs of owning a home. On top of your mortgage payment, you’ll be paying property taxes, homeowners insurance, and utility bills. With your agent, formulate an estimate of your total monthly costs. That figure should account for ongoing maintenance, which can accumulate quickly for older properties or those on large lots. Those buying a condo or townhome may also pay a Homeowners Association (HOA) fee.
Ensure you’re investing in a home you can afford. You want to put enough money down to achieve high equity in the property. At the same time, you don’t want to drain your bank account just to make a purchase. If any surprises pop up, you’ll need a safety net to fall back on to save yourself from a financial crisis.
Research the neighborhood
As a homeowner, your daily life will transcend the boundaries of your property. Its neighborhood will significantly impact your quality of life. Once you find a home you love, make sure you love the area, too.
To that end, research local entertainment, recreation, and leisure. Familiarize yourself with the restaurants and shops you might frequent. If you have children or teenagers in your household, you’ll also want to look into the local school district and what educational options are available. When you love the home and its community, you’ll know the property is the perfect match.
Craft an offer letter
Once you decide to proceed with the purchase, you’ll need to craft an offer letter for the seller before moving into the next stage. Think about the current listing price compared to what you think the home is worth, and lower your offer number if you think it is too high.
Your agent will tell you if a home is priced reasonably and is receiving multiple offers. In that case, you should be prepared to escalate your bid — especially if you expect the property to appreciate over the long term.
An offer letter covers much more than the listing price. With your agent, decide which contingency clauses to include or leave out. Offers with fewer contingencies typically appeal more to sellers, so if you love a particular home, be judicious and include only those conditions you deem necessary.
Order a home inspection
Once your offer is accepted, order a home inspection before finalizing the sale. A home may appear faultless at first glance, but there’s far more to a property than what immediately meets the eye.
Home inspectors examine every inch of a home to discover any flaws that may have gone unnoticed during your tour. They will look for any structural problems with the foundation, renovations made without proper permits, safety issues (such as mold in the walls), and the overall condition of the property and its expected longevity.
You don’t want to end up purchasing a property and later discovering that it has significant damage, leaving you with a hefty bill to cover the repairs. With that in mind, many savvy buyers include a home inspection contingency in their offer letters. A home inspection clause makes the purchase dependent on the inspection results. If you decide to include this clause in your offer, you’ll have the legal right to back out of the sale if excessive issues are uncovered that the current homeowner is unwilling to correct.
Proceed to the closing table
Once you receive the home inspection results and are confident in the terms and conditions of the purchase, you’ll be ready to proceed to the closing table. At this time, you may be in a position to negotiate the terms of the sale and make them more favorable for your situation.
For instance, suppose your home inspection found leaks in the roofs and tears in the insulation. In that case, you can negotiate for the current homeowner to fix the problems before transferring ownership. Alternatively, you could agree to a reduced purchase price that factors in the cost you will incur to fix the roof and insulation. With your agent, weigh factors like the home inspection and leverage any advantages that come to light. The best agents will walk you through a deal’s complexities, explain legal jargon, and get you the best possible bottom line.
William Weeks will assist you if you’re considering the Canton real estate market or want to move into a Baltimore neighborhood. His professional guidance is informed by years of experience matching prospective buyers with homes that surpass their expectations. Activate your home search by contacting William and his team today, including exploring homes for sale in Hampden.
*Header photo courtesy of Pexels