There is SO much to consider when buying a home - and so many sources of information out there. From what your family tell you to what you read online - the endless advice can be a bit overwhelming at times.
That's why we've enlisted the best in the biz to help you out.
We spoke with five real estate experts and asked for their best piece of advice - that one crucial tip they would offer their friend or family member embarking on a homebuying journey.
Here's what they had to say...
"One tip I would give is to not force it and stay encouraged. Right now, being in a housing shortage makes the competition to find the right house FIERCE! It really is a jungle out there and people can easily get discouraged and start making decisions they wouldn't normally make out of desperation just to find SOMETHING. Make sure you have an agent who can remind you why you started and get your head level when it seems like you're losing it!"
"When searching for a home - people generally don't spend enough time in the neighborhood. People will go see a house, and they'll drive the neighborhood once or twice, maybe see where the grocery store is and where the school is. But you've got to spend a significant amount [of time] there. Eat and shop in that neighborhood. If you are a walker or a biker, you should do those things there. Go at different times of the day. Talk to business owners. Talk to people who already live there. You will have a much better understanding of if you want to be a part of the growth."
"The best tip I would give my client/best friend when first buying a home is two answers wrapped in one. I would tell them to definitely use a buy side broker. You need representation on your side to walk you through the steps and get you the best deal possible. I have had SO many clients who wanted to buy a home on their own and found out the hard way and all have said that they SHOULD have used representation. They said it was a LOT harder than they imagined. Along with that, make sure your'e comfortable with your buy side broker. You want to work with someone you can trust, you feel comfortable asking questions, someone who doesn't pressure you, and someone that brings value to the purchasing process."
"It's not for everybody, but one home hack I encourage homebuyers to look into is purchasing a multi-family property. A duplex, triples or even fourplex is where the money is at! Let me tell you why: when you purchase the property you can live in one unit while renting out the others. This method will have you living for free or, even better, being paid to live in your own home! When it comes to financing these properties, you can still purchase with a conventional or FHA loan. This requires 3-3.5% minimum down payment. However, there are so many down payment assistance options out there that could give you all the cash you would need to close. Why is this an amazing opportunity for you? This means you could be living in your home without ever spending a single dollar of your own money!"
"Know your budget before starting your search. If you start looking at homes that are higher than what you can afford to buy, it will make it so much harder to be interested in the homes that you can comfortably afford to live in."
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