Tip 1: Hire a Local Buyer’s Agent
When you are buying a home in the Joplin area, it’s important that the first thing you do with locate and work with an experienced real estate agent who is LOCAL to the area! Here’s a couple of reasons why:
– There is no cost to you to work with a buyer’s agent. Their commission is traditionally paid for by the home seller.
– They work specifically for you as your fiduciary… meaning they have your best financial interests in mind
– They can give you valuable advice about neighborhoods in the area
– They can connect you with other professionals that you will need during the closing process (such as lendors, inspectors, repair contacts, insurance companies, etc.)
Tip 2: Get Pre-Qualified & Finding a Great Lender
While this tip is usually step one for most buyers, I recommend that you look to get pre-qualified after you have selected a buyers agent. Here’s why.
Getting pre-approved for a home loan is not simply a matter of knowing what you can afford. Sure – that the initial steps to understand your price range, however the actual amount that you’ll be allowed to finance will depend on other variables related to the home you purchase. Some of these include HOA (home owner assoication) dues, taxes, CDD fees and other items that will increase your monthly payment.
Upon final calculation of what you can afford, the mortgage broker will consider all of these items and provide a true estimate of the maximum mortgage they will allow you to finance. Unfortunately when it comes time to close – many home buyers are surprised at the discrepancy.
A good buyer’s agent will be able to provide you with some lenders that they have a working relationship with who can explain the entire process and factors used in calculating your loan amount.
Tip 3: Know Your Locations
This is another area where working with a real estate agent who is local to the area can save you time and money. A great Realtor who is familiar with the area can give you some excellent tips on learning about a particular area.
It’s important to become familiar with the neighborhood and general area that your home resides in. This will ultimately be the community that you live in and perhaps raise a family in.
As such, make sure you do more than simply drive around some of the streets to see other homes in the neighborhood. I’ve worked with some clients who limited their due dilligence to only this and they were very disappointed with the community they loved to shortly after. Here are some ideas on what to scope out in your potentially new neighborhood:
– Go out to eat at one or two LOCAL restaurants. The local restaurants usually bring in the local residents and this is a great time to see who the neighbors might be:
– Visit the parks, ballfields and other outdoor activities over the weekend. This will give you some indication of the participation level at little leagues, community events, sports, etc.
– Walk around the streets of your new neighborhood after dinner. This is a great time to learn about which neighbors are out and about; who is working late; what kids are out playing, etc.
Tip 4: Act Fast & Recognize the Market Value
Two of the most common problems I see with people buying a home in the Joplin area is that they take too long to find a home and then make a low value offer when they decide on one they like. This often leads to buyer missing out on the house that they really wanted.
Now – I’m not advocating to go out and make full-price offers on the first home you see. However, homes are selling very fast and we are in a sellers market – with lots of competition. Because of this, if you are serious about buying a home – you need to jump on the one you want…as soon as your find it.
Not to continue to beat the drum here – but this is another key area that a professional and local buyer’s agent can help you with.
For example, when I work with my clients I provide them with multiple homes to consider based on their needs and wants – and then work to understand which homes present the best value to my client. We’ll look at things like cost per square feet, comparative market evaluations, property taxes and valuations, potential appreciation value and more.
Tip 5: Hire a Great Home Inspector
A proper and in-depth home inspection can potentially save a home buyer thousands of dollars over the life of their home. Yes – THOUSANDS!
A good inspector should be able to track down and discover issues that you might not have realized exist with just s cursory review. They’re good at discovering things like bad AC units, roofing issues, plumbing blockages or flow issues, electrical issues and more — item’s that may cost you thousands of dollars to fix in the future.
What’s more, if the inspector does discover these types of defects on your home, usually a good real estate buyer’s agent (you did use one, right! ) will be able to negotiate the repairs or costs to repair in the final price of the home.
These are only a couple of the tips that I usually give to my clients as their buyer’s agent. If you are interested in learning more or in having me work FOR YOU to help you find a great deal on a home, please click the button below and contact me directly.