Tips For Buying A Home In Arlington, Grand Prairie and Mansfield

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If you’ve ever been through the home buying process, then many of these tips will seem very familiar to you. Especially since the markets in Arlington, Grand Prairie, Mansfield and Kennedale are so similar. But since buying a home is such an emotionally charged process, we think these bear repeating. So with that in mind, Remember the tips below.

Hang On To Your Money

It may not be the best idea to make any big purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new home. You don’t want to jeopardize your credit profile. Mortgage lenders need to see that you’re reliable and that your finances are predictable so that they can get you the best loan possible. If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big-ticket items, it hurts your ability to get the best loan.

Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan

There’s a big difference between being pre-qualified for a home loan and being pre-approved. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can’t afford. It also makes your offer more appealing to sellers because they know you are able to buy.

Avoid A Turf Dispute

There’s a big difference between being pre-qualified for a home loan and being pre-approved. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can’t afford. It also makes your offer more appealing to sellers because they know you are able to buy.

Don’t Worry About Timing The Market

Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the exact perfect time to make a home purchase. It is impossible to completely anticipate the housing market. Your perfect time to buy will be when you find the perfect home for your family. Real estate is cyclical, it goes up and down. So, if you attempt to anticipate the perfect time, you may miss out.

Bigger May Not Always Be Better

It’s natural to be drawn to the biggest, most beautiful house on the block. But when it comes to residential houses, bigger is usually not better. You may have heard the old real estate saying “never buy the most expensive house on the block”. The largest homes appeal to a smaller audience; and you never want to limit potential buyers when you go to re-sell. Generally, your home will only rise in value as much as the other houses around you. If you pay $500,000 for a home and your neighbors pay $300,000, your appreciation is going to be limited. Sometimes it is best to is buy a lesser home, because the worst house generally sells for more than the biggest house per square foot.

Be Ready For Sleeper Costs

The difference between renting and owning a home are the “sleeper” or hidden costs. Most people focus primarily on their mortgage payment, but they also need to be aware of the potential additional expenses like property taxes, utilities and homeowner-association dues. New homeowners also need to be ready to face repairs, maintenance and potential property-tax increases. Make sure you budget for sleeper costs so you’ll be covered and won’t risk losing your house.

Your New Home Needs A Physical Too

It’s natural to be drawn to the biggest, most beautiful house on the block. But when it comes to residential houses, bigger is usually not better. You may have heard the old real estate saying “never buy the most expensive house on the block”. The largest homes appeal to a smaller audience; and you never want to limit potential buyers when you go to re-sell. Generally, your home will only rise in value as much as the other houses around you. If you pay $500,000 for a home and your neighbors pay $300,000, your appreciation is going to be limited. Sometimes it is best to is buy a lesser home, because the worst house generally sells for more than the biggest house per square foot.

The Art Of Bidding On A Home

There should be two things that drive your opening bid: what you can afford (because you don’t want to outbid yourself), and what you really believe the property is worth. Make your opening bid something that’s fair and reasonable. If your bid is so “lowball” that it offends the seller, then you have created an adversarial style “winner-loser” scenario. And like most of us, the seller may dig their heels in and decide to “win” themselves. Some people say that you should always bid lower; that sellers expect it. It all depends on what the market is doing at the time. You should review what other homes have sold for in that neighborhood per square foot. Sizing up a house on a price-per-square-foot basis is a great equalizer. Also, check and see if there are any immediate plans for road or neighborhood construction. Some of these things might detract from the property’s value down the road.

Sellers respect a bid that has some reasonable logic behind it and are more likely to take it more seriously. A nice round number sounds like every other bid out there. When you get more specific the sellers will think you’ve given the offer careful thought.

Review The Neighborhood

Before you buy, get a true sense of the neighborhood. Drive the area morning noon and night. Many homebuyers have become disheartened because they thought they found the perfect home, only to find out the neighborhood wasn’t for them after they moved in. Drive by the house at different hours of the day to see what’s really happening in the neighborhood. Time your regular commute from the house to make sure it is something you can deal with on a daily basis. Remember to check how far it is to the nearest grocery store and your other services. Research the schools even if you don’t have kids; it affects the value of your home in a very big way. If you buy a house in a good school district versus bad school district even in the same town, the value can be affected as much as 20 percent.

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