From House Hunter to Homeowner: Neighborhood Advice for the Vacavillian Dweller
Navigating the loopholes, paperwork, and approvals needed when purchasing your first home places greater stress on an already big leap of financial faith.
In honor of National Homeownership Month, we have trusted members of our community who have had a hand in helping lead several clients to the keys of their first home with some helpful tips on getting and keeping one of the greatest investments you’ll make: your home.
Carlie Moreno of Rapisarda Real Estate advises on 5 things first-time homebuyers should keep in mind when starting off on their “home buying journey” and Better Bookkeepers’ Kristie Gardner offers her expertise in protecting, caring for, and properly tracking your home investment.
Carlie Moreno speaks to the mindset first time homebuyers should have when approaching this big step.
Carlie Moreno, Rapisarda Real Estate
Take her 5 Best Homebuyer Tips:
1. The first step is to identify the Realtor that you would like to begin the "home buying journey" with!
Your Realtor should be experienced and knowledgeable in the current market to ensure they have
the skills to guide you efficiently. I recommend asking for referrals from people you trust and do your research before making your decision.
2. Second step is to get "pre-approved" for a home loan before you actively begin searching for homes.
This process will give you knowledge how much money you will need down, what your estimated payment would be and the terms of the loan so that you can ensure you are looking at homes within your guidelines. Upon choosing your lender you should also do research on this person the same as you did when choosing your Realtor.
3. Third step is to be "open minded" while searching.
I always advise my clients to focus on neighborhood and area as opposed to specific features inside the home. Paint colors, flooring and design options can always be modified during the course of home ownership. Those changes are also a way to build "equity" and improve your investment.
4. Once you are "in contract" on the home of your choice obtain thorough inspections to property so you can identify and negotiate any potential "red flags.”
Inspectors should be licensed, insured and can be recommended by your Realtor. General inspections are a "whole house,” "pest,” "roof" and/or "pool" and "chimney" (if those apply).
5. Once your closing is official and you have the keys in hand...never stop "protecting your investment!”
Keep up on normal maintenance and any needed repairs to your home and yards! The overall condition of your home will determine your home’s value and desirability for the long haul!
On the same note, Kristie Gardner stresses there are “six key tips” to keep in mind once you cross over from “home hunter” to “homeowner.”
Kristie Gardner, Better Bookkeepers
1. Make sure you track your expenses.
Purchasing a home is an investment that you should protect by tracking your expenses. Doesn’t matter if you got a steal on the house if the furnishing you purchase to fill it costs you more in interest than your mortgage interest.
2. Make sure you are insured properly.
You now have an investment, protect it and its contents. If you don’t have a reliable agent, reach out to us here at Better Bookkeepers up for a referral.
3. Make sure you take care of your investment.
Daily, weekly, and monthly home care are vital to ensure the appreciation of your asset. You should be proud of your investment, treat it with respect and take care of it.
4. Wave to your neighbors.
You share the same air so you might as well be friendly. What if you need to borrow an egg?
5. Save your home repair receipts and warranties.
You never know when you are going to need them for taxes or reference.
6. Plant a lemon tree.
Just one in every house you buy. That way you can always make lemonade when life hands you lemons.
No matter the step in the process that you’re in, buying and keeping a home requires detailed planning, serious thought, and lots of work, but look on the bright side: you don’t have to do it alone.
While Better Bookkeepers uses all reasonable efforts to ensure that this information is current and complete on the date of publication, no representatives or warranties are made (expressed or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of such information. Better Bookkeepers, therefore, cannot be held liable for any loss arising or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information appearing in this publication.