My fiance seven years have bought a house after looking for a year. We went through over 90 houses to find what we wanted but here it is. We did find two other houses that we put offers in on but the owners did not want to negotiate on the price at all. Third time was a charm for us. Also we found an amazing Realtor who made things understandable. If I had any advice for future home owners it would be the following:
*Find a Realtor Do your homework on your Realtor. Try to get a Realtor that is in the area so you can drive to their office that's not to out of the way. Make sure they set a day and time aside to drive you to the houses you want to see. Realtor can't give you their opinion but they can tell you wants good and not great.
Our Realtor was very informative when it came to house hunting we had no questions because she already told us everything we needed to know. Make sure when they print out paper work make sure they also print out the Sellers Dis closer to you can read it on the way to the houses.
*Get Pre-Qualified. Most Realtor's have a mortgage company that they work with. Since they know each other they will work as a good team to help you get your house. With the pre qualification the broker will take you Social Security Number and check your credit score. After they check they can give you an idea on where you can start looking. I rec-amend not doing your max qualification
*Location! Yes you want to find a good house but it needs to be a great neighborhood. Make sure the schools in the are are in good shape. Even if you don't want to have children future buyers of that house might want them! I even use the Google Maps Street view if I don't know the neighborhood! It helped me a lot to decide if the house of worth driving out to see!
*Money! When buying a house (even in a buyers market) you need a down payment PLUS an additional pile of loot for the closing cost! Closing cost include: Inspection, Radon Test, Lawyer (if your state requires it), taxes, etc. It usually cost between 4 and 4 percent of the purchase price of the house.
*Keep an open mind when looking at houses. Don't fret over some grape vine boarder or older appliances. The main focus is making sure the house has good bones. I make sure the roof is good, the HVAC is newer and inspected, no structural damage, newer electrical (3 prong), and maybe better windows.
Look at this before and after picture of Sherry and Johns house
from Young House Love
*Wants list. Joe (my fiance) and I had a small 'wants list' it included hardwood floors even if the carpet was covering them, a single family home and Central air. I didn't mind the central air to much but my Realtor Jane said it would only improve the value of the house for the next buyer. Houses with out central air are hard to sell, especially in the Summer time!
*HUNT! Search the internet the newspaper, drive around on Sundays and look at open houses!
*Be patent. It's not like buying a car. This is one the biggest investments of your life. No need to rush! Your house is out there just waiting to be purchased!
Here are a few more pictures of our new house! It's in great condition and only needs a few things here and there fixed up to make it our own!