Are you thinking about buying a home?
There are many things to think about when you’re preparing to buy or sell a home. Taking the time to do basic research or make small home improvements can result in significant benefits. Following are things to keep in mind to help you make the most of your investment.
Before you make the decision to purchase, do some hands-on research to make sure you’ll enjoy your new community.
Evaluate the commute.
Decide how long of a commute you’re comfortable making, and keep in mind that physical distance isn’t always an accurate gauge of driving time. Try a test-run commute from the neighborhood during peak traffic hours. If public transportation is important, research bus stops and schedules to determine if they’re sufficient to meet your needs.
Look for local services.
Evaluate the home’s proximity to other locations that are important to your daily schedule. Consider the distance to schools, shopping centers, parks, hospitals and other services. Are they close enough to be convenient?
Research the school district.
The quality of local schools is clearly important to your family. Take the time to visit the local school district and talk to other parents. Even if you don’t anticipate having children in the system, the district’s reputation could affect the selling price of your home if you anticipate moving in the future.
Experience the environment.
Walking around the neighborhood at different times of the day is a helpful way to determine what it would be like to live there. Are there young families that would make the neighborhood fun for your children? Is the neighborhood quiet, or are there loud noises such as busy roadways or barking dogs? Do drivers respect speed limits on the local streets? Your enjoyment of your home may be affected by these factors.
Are you thinking of selling your home?
If you’re preparing to sell your home, there are many inexpensive ways to help make it more appealing to prospective buyers.
Consider your home as a product.
You’ll want to emotionally detach yourself from the home so you can treat it like merchandise for sale. This will help put you in the right frame of mind to take an objective look at what you can change to make your home more appealing.
Help buyers visualize living there.
While your home is normally a place to let your personality shine, when you’re preparing it for sale you’ll want to make it appealing to everyone. Removing family photographs and personal mementos is a great way to help prospective buyers imagine themselves making the home their own.
Make your home a showcase.
Retailers carefully arrange their stores to attract customers; you can do the same to your home. Reducing the amount of unnecessary stuff around your home will make it feel cleaner, larger and more relaxing. If your bookshelves are full, pack up at least half of the books and arrange the rest to look stylish. Keep your counters free from unnecessary clutter, add some fresh flowers and set your dining room table for a beautiful party.
Tidy your cabinets and closets.
Prospective buyers like to know that there will be plenty of storage space in their new home. If your cabinets or closets are overflowing, buyers will be turned off. Think of tidiness as a strategy for a faster sale. Stack your dishes neatly. Donate or store items you rarely use. Use matching hangers, and color-coordinate your clothing. The results will be powerfully appealing to buyers.
Make your home shine.
A messy home is an instant turnoff. Take the time to do a deep cleaning, and then maintain the appeal with a basic routine. It’s easiest if you do a little touch-up cleaning every day. If there are small repairs that can be done to beautify your home, make them now. This kind of effort goes a long way in terms of getting a great offer on your home.
Roll out the welcome mat.
Make sure that the front of your home is appealing. Mowing the lawn, touching up faded trim paint and adding flowerpots to your porch will provide stronger curb appeal, helping a buyer visualize how nice it would be to live there.
Are you ready to get a home loan?
Working with the right people and getting the best information will help make your experience more efficient and relaxed.
Select the right team.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner, there are always new things to learn about purchasing and financing real estate. You’ll want to have an experienced real estate agent and mortgage professional by your side. A great way to find the right team is to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. You can also connect with an experienced mortgage expert on our website.
Decide what you can afford to purchase.
You can get a good idea of what you can afford by becoming prequalified or preapproved by your mortgage lender. With this information you can help your real estate agent determine the type of home that meets your unique financial situation.
Learn about available loans.
With so many loan types available today, you’ll want to find out which are best suited to your circumstances and goals. Our website Learning Center provides an overview of loan types, and our mortgage experts are available to answer all of your questions.
Complete a loan application.
You can apply for a loan using our convenient and secure online form, or you can talk with one of our experienced mortgage specialists to provide your information over the phone, in person or by mail. If you’ve received a preapproval letter, you will have already provided some of the application information and will be familiar with the process.