How to Get the Right Property
When you're interested in buying a home, the most important thing is whether or not you're actually going to be able to afford it. When you start hunting for homes, it's a good idea to get preapproved for a mortgage. This should be step one. When you have this taken care of, you know exactly what price range you should be looking in, which helps you to focus on realistic options.
Step two should be finding a realtor. If you can approach a realtor and tell them how much you're approved for and what you're interested in, it's usually not hard for them to find a lot of options for you. The great thing is that already knowing how much you can afford helps the realtor to avoid wasting your time by showing you houses that you wouldn't be able to afford, anyway.
You always need a home inspection before you buy a house. Your mortgage will require this, so it's really not an option. The trick is that you should hire a home inspector on your 0wn and have them take a look at the home, even if the seller has had it inspected already. The home inspector can help guide your decision as to how much you're going to offer for the home in question.
Check the Area
There's more to checking the area than seeing if there are good schools—though that's important if you have kids, of course. Take a drive through the neighborhood at different times of day or night. See if you're comfortable and if it seems like it's a good place to live around the clock. If it seems shady or the houses around you turn into party pads after nightfall, you might want to look elsewhere.
Get a Market Analysis
Have your realtor to a comparative market analysis for you. This will give you an idea of how much similar homes in the same area are going for. You already know how much you can afford to spend because of being preapproved, but that doesn't mean that you have to spend the entire amount! Getting a better deal is always worth it, if possible.
A Bit About Finances
You don't necessarily have to be able to put down 20% on a home to buy it. There are other ways that you can arrange for the purchase of the home. Make sure you talk to your mortgage broker about the options you have. A good relator can also help you out in this regard.
Remember that you shouldn't be paying more than approximately two and a half times your yearly income for the home you're buying. A lot of people have gotten themselves into trouble by overbuying. Even if you qualify for more money from a lender, make sure you only take out an amount that you can realistically afford to pay back and that you don't borrow so much that you immediately put yourself into a bad situation upon purchasing your house.