Looking at real estate listings and dreaming of home ownership is one thing. Actually buying a home is something entirely different. The decision to purchase is often one of the biggest decisions a person will ever make in his or her lifetime. That is why home buying should never be taken lightly. Far too many people make poor decisions that they end up regretting later on.
As a prospective buyer, you would want advice from lots of different people. Advice from your estate agent is critical in helping you find a home that meets your family’s needs without stressing the budget. Getting advice from a mortgage broker is critical to obtaining a mortgage that will be in your best long-term interests.
You would also get advice from your solicitor, a home inspector, your tax adviser, and anyone else you felt had valuable information to share. Even friends and family members who have already gone through the buying process themselves can be valuable sources of information. The point here is to not go it alone. Any plans to buy a home should also include seeking out as much advice as you can find.
- Advice from Your Estate Agent
This post will not cover every possible category of advice. There is just too much information to do that. It will focus on a few specific kinds of advice, beginning with the advice you might receive from your estate agent. Estate agents are also known as real estate agents in some parts of the world.
Your estate agent is an agent whose job is to help you find the house you want to buy. This person works on your behalf. As such, it is his or her responsibility to understand your needs and show you properties accordingly. He or she should understand your minimum requirements, your wants, and the budget you are working with.
It is not uncommon for estate agents to show clients homes on both ends of the spectrum just to get a feel for what their tolerances are. Once they have a better idea of what they are working with, they are able to find properties closer to what clients actually want and need. This is where advice becomes extremely valuable.
There is no such thing as a perfect house. Rare is the scenario in which a client gets everything on his or her wish list. So estate agents advise clients about what to expect and how they can get most of what they want by sticking to certain kinds of properties.
- Advice from Your Mortgage Broker
A mortgage broker differs from a bank loan officer inasmuch as he or she is a financial adviser in addition to someone who arranges mortgages. That is why brokers are known as mortgage advisers in some countries. At any rate, brokers can offer advice on things that loan officers and underwriters cannot even consider.
Let us say you are meeting for the first time with a broker recommended by a family member. At this mortgage broker’s direction, you decide it’s better to take a deal with a shorter term but a higher interest rate. Why? Because your mortgage broker has advised you of the financial implications of taking a longer deal.
He or she calculated that a longer term will ultimately cost you more because you will pay more interest over the life of the loan. Yet even with a higher interest rate, you would pay less actual interest with a short-term deal because the mortgage will be paid off more quickly. Your mortgage broker knows that the shorter deal is better for your long-term financial health.
- Advice from Your Home Inspector
After consulting with a mortgage broker and spending weeks working with your estate agent, you have finally found a house you are ready to make an offer on. Your offer is contingent on the home passing a standard inspection. Now you will be dealing with a home inspector who should be ready to give you advice on any number of things.
You would trust the inspector to uncover any serious flaws that might cause you to change your mind. You would expect that individual to advise you on any less critical issues that might affect the value of the home without necessarily dissuading you from purchasing. In essence, you would rely on advice from the home inspector to decide whether or not the property is in a condition worthy of the offer you have made.
It has been said that there is wisdom found in consulting multiple advisers. It is true. No matter what you do in life, there are other people who have the knowledge and experience you lack. When it comes to buying a home, there are all sorts of professionals possessing the very knowledge and experience you need to make a wise decision. Seek them out. Ask for their advice. Let them guide you in what could be the most important decision you will ever make.