In my last article I explained why now is a great time to sell your home. While this remains true, it is also a great time to buy a home.
Home ownership is now more affordable. Owning a home is a great investment for building long-term wealth through accumulating equity and tax benefits.
With interest rates so low, it is a perfect time to provide security and stability for your family. Rentals in the area are often hard to find and rates are on the rise.
So if you are thinking about buying, I recommend taking the following steps:
1.Find a reputable real estate broker to work with. A good real estate broker will help you in all aspects of buying. The best way to find the right broker is to ask your friends, family and business associates. Your local banker or someone you can trust is a good referral source. You should find someone who specializes in the area where you are looking. You can also look on different websites like Realtor.com or Trulia.com to see who is selling homes in your area.
2.Get preapproved before you start your search. Meet with a few mortgage brokers and/or banks to get your best rate and payment that works for you and your budget. Your real estate broker can give you referrals for these professionals as well. Don’t be pressured to spend more than you can afford. You should also calculate all of the expenses associated with home ownership including taxes, utilities and maintenance.
3. Do your research. If you have children, check out the schools. Talk to other families in the area and ask questions about the town. Are there future plans for the town, such as new businesses coming to town or a factory that may affect home values for better or worse.
4.Do your due diligence. Once you locate the home for you make sure you have a thorough home inspection done. Your real estate broker can help you to find a reputable home inspector. He or she should recommend a few inspectors that you can call and feel comfortable hiring. Be wary if the price is too low. Also ask what kind or report you will get. You should get a written report with photos. I also recommend hiring a certified inspector. The State of Maine does not require certification.
Carrie Colby is the Owner and Designated Broker of Premier Properties located at 1263 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond. In 2012 Premier Properties had $14.7 million in real estate sales. Reach her at columnist@TheWindhamEagle.com.