Overseas Realty specializes in real estate investment followed up with professional property management services. Our real estate experts have assisted hundreds of home-seekers and investors to find exactly what they are looking for in the area and price range they desire. In this burgeoning buyer's market, there's many great opportunities for those seeking a second home, retirement home or for pure investment. But to effectively find what you're looking for, we advise you consider the following questions:
Are You Ready to Buy?
Such a simple question can have a complex answer. There's 2 kinds of ready… emotional and financial. Of course, only you know if 'now is the time', but determining if you're financially ready isn't as simple as staying under a certain sticker price as it goes well beyond that. You have to consider maintenance and upkeep costs, insurances, taxes and any other cost that will show up on your monthly budget. Determining all this is the key to taking ownership of a large asset with a realistic expectation of a positive long term return. And once you realize that, you are, indeed 'ready'.
How Much Can You Afford?
We all have big eyes when shopping for our next home, and often, we're met with disappointment when we run the numbers. Being realistic is key here as the last thing you want to do is sacrifice the lion's share of your income just to pay the mortgage. This can make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride, and very quickly. In such a case, it's our advice to consider a more modest home now and table the purchasing of your "dream home" down the road. If you play your cards right (with our help), your first home will appreciate in value, giving you a great head start to your next real estate endeavor.
What is Your Debt-to-Income Ratio?
When qualifying for a mortgage, this is something that lenders take very seriously. But basic rules are as follows:
- Your total mortgage payment should not be more than 32% of your annual income.
- Your total payments for ALL debt (mortgage, auto and other) should not exceed 40% of your annual income.
So assuming you are not already laden with debt, the 32% is the number you need to focus on. With a number in mind, now you can look in the price range that's realistic to you. This greases the wheels for every step along the process ensuring you have a relaxed buying experience.
What Exactly Are You Looking For?
This question speaks directly to your desired lifestyle. There are those that love to take care of their yard and do home maintenance on the weekends or when ever time allows. And then there are those that simply shudder at the same idea. Perhaps you'd like to pay a fee every month to make sure such things are done for you? Then there's the question of freedom. In many developments, there are rules about when you can take the trash out, getting guests in and out of your development, and everyone's heard about the dreaded 'condo commandos' that seem to take pleasure in making you cut your lawn every 5 days precisely. The upside of such developments is gated security, a nice manicured neighborhood and a reasonable expectation that your property value will appreciate by the time you're ready to move on. If that sounds a bit confining to you, perhaps you'd be more suited to something off the beaten path, up out of the fray but still close to the action. The key is to be honest with yourself as these answers will help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
Buying a home is a big decision that will impact your life for years to come - if not decades so you need an agent who understands this and will work hard for you. Our agents are dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the right price. Our agents are in tune with the factors listed above, and will guide you through the entire process. We'll make sure of exactly how much you can afford, and what best suits your lifestyle. Then we merge these two priorities to find a home that you're proud of, one you can afford, and one that will make you a successful owner of real estate. The following are tips we offer to help you meet those goals:
Keep Your Objectives in Mind
When viewing a potential home for sale, try to keep your feelings in check, as in, don't get too excited, and don't get too discouraged. Keep a list of features you're looking for in your new home handy so even if you get distracted by other details, your eyes are always on your goals. And while there, try to keep your opinions to yourself. Just observe and ask questions. There will be plenty of time after a viewing to go over the pros and cons of each home with your agent.
Making An Offer
This can be a maze of buyer-seller negotiations, inspections, deposits, execution and all the paperwork that goes along with it. This is where we really shine. We will be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it, step by step with you, before submitting it. Keep in mind that the seller may counter your offer or reject it all together. So it's important to continue keeping your emotions in check, even at this late stage of the process. And also know that no offer is considered without a significant deposit to show you're seriousness.
Due diligence ensures there are no liens or otherwise bad history associated with the home that you might assume with ownership. A good realtor and lawyer will make sure this and we have both.
Inspections ensure there's no major structural issues to deal with that are not apparent to the regular person's eye. Things like a listing foundation, faulty electrical wiring, iffy plumbing or a roof that needs replacing. Things that cost a lot of your money to correct if they are not found before the offer is accepted. Sellers will often 'paint over' such things. An inspector will find them anyway. Among other things inspectors find are asbestos, lead paint, mold and even evidence of pests, making inspections a crucial part of the home purchase process. Depending on the size of the home, inspections can cost somewhere around a few hundred dollars and it's very much worth it. Think of it as the cheapest insurance policy you can buy. We have worked with many qualified and respected inspectors in the area and are happy to give you a recommendation.
The Final Walk-Through
This is like tying the bow on top of the beautiful present. The final walk through basically makes sure the home you negotiated for is exactly the home you're buying. If inspections reveal plumbing issues, the final walk-through is where you make sure it's done and to your satisfaction. It's always good to have an experienced eye with you during this process and that's what we are here for. Once the check clears, there's no turning back from this point, so let's get it right.
From the first interview that determines your requirements, to the moment that you receive the keys, Overseas Realty can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier.