Navigating the home-buying process involves various stages, and in this blog, we assume you’ve assessed your finances and consulted a mortgage loan officer. Whether you have pre-approval or explore alternative financing, our insights focus on objectively evaluating neighborhoods to find your ideal fit.
Our emphasis is on neighborhood evaluation, excluding discussions on real estate fluctuations or the home selling process. Our goal is to provide additional resources for confidence in making an offer on your dream home. The article highlights hiring professionals, exploring neighborhoods, and researching past taxes and utility costs as key considerations in your home-buying journey.
Step 1: Hire a Professional
Enlisting the services of a real estate agent is highly recommended to navigate the complexities of buying a house. A seasoned professional can provide valuable insights, interpret market trends, and guide you through negotiations. Their expertise and experience can make a significant difference in achieving a positive outcome.
Step 2: Vetting the Neighborhood
Before you make an offer, take the time to explore and learn about the neighborhood. Visit at different times of the day to see if it suits your preferences. Consider checking out a neighborhood Facebook page to connect with friendly neighbors and get insights. Don’t hesitate to talk to the neighbors directly to gather information about the community and address any concerns. Taking these steps will give you more confidence when it’s time to make your offer.
Step 3: Analyzing Similar Properties
Comparing similar properties in the area helps determine if the asking price is reasonable. Consider factors such as house type, square footage, and relevant features to assess the value accurately. Also, evaluate the potential for future appreciation or depreciation by analyzing location, development plans, infrastructure projects, and market trends.
Step 4:Obtaining Utility History and Estimates
Remember that your monthly mortgage payments are not the only costs you’ll have as a homeowner. It’s a good idea to get information about utility histories, estimated costs, and other operational expenses to fully grasp the ongoing financial obligations that should be considered in your budget. Contacting the local utility companies and asking for a 24-month utility average is a common practice for home buyers, although it’s important to note that the process may vary in different states. This will help you get a comprehensive understanding of the expenses involved in maintaining the property.
Step 5: Understanding Walk Score ®
Walk Score® is a valuable tool for both renters and home buyers as it offers an informative overview of factors to consider, although it should not be the sole deciding factor. It provides a numerical score that assesses the walkability of a neighborhood, taking into account important metrics such as population density, the presence of mixed-use establishments, access to parks, pedestrian-friendly design, and proximity to schools and workplaces. Evaluating the walkability of a neighborhood helps gauge its overall livability and convenience. It provides an additional perspective when considering a potential location.
Step 6: Original List Price to Close Ratio
The “Original List Price to Close Ratio” is a useful metric in real estate that calculates the percentage difference between the initial list price and the final selling price at the time of closing. This difference can often amount to several thousand dollars, making it advantageous to have the support of a professional who can access and analyze such metrics. By examining this ratio, one can gain insights into the seller’s pricing strategy and obtain valuable information about the negotiation dynamics in the real estate market.
Step 7: Due Diligence on the House
Before making an offer on a house, conducting thorough due diligence is crucial. This includes examining the current taxes and estimating the property taxes based on the new sales price. As a future home buyer, you can accomplish this by visiting the website of the county assessor’s office for the relevant city. On their website, you can find a search bar where you can submit the address and obtain the necessary tax information. For example, here is the link to the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office website.
Step 8: Finalizing Your Offer
Finalizing your offer is an exciting step in becoming a future home buyer. After conducting thorough research and negotiations, you can determine the appropriate price for your offer. It’s important to prepare the necessary paperwork with the assistance of a professional and submit a formal offer to the seller. While there are additional steps involved, such as reviewing the seller’s disclosure statement and scheduling inspections, we will delve into those topics in upcoming blog posts.
In preparation for submitting your offer, it’s important to prioritize activities like examining the neighborhood and addressing questions that professionals may find challenging to answer. Buying a home is a major investment, so it’s crucial to dedicate time to thoroughly evaluate all relevant factors. By doing so, you’ll be able to make a confident and well-informed decision. Best of luck in your search for and successful acquisition of your dream home!