First-time buyers need a good roadmap

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vahomeloancenter.org

It is a bit surprising and perplexing that there is still a good percentage of individuals and couples who are waiting to find the perfect home before they sit down with a lender to see what they qualify for. One wonders if they are serious in their search or just not cognizant of the fact that they are not the only ones searching for a “place to call home.” They are not necessarily prepared to make a proper offer with all the documentation that is required today. Having that piece of paper eventually signifies to the seller that they are well prepared to move ahead and buy their property.

Many of us watch HGTV and may think that all the buyers are qualified. But the shows are scripted to show the simplicity as well as some of the challenges of buying. There is rarely talk about pre-qualification letters, credit, inspections etc. It appears that everyone is always qualified and ready to buy, no matter where they are searching whether in the United States or abroad. It may seem that they look at three places, make an offer and that’s it. I guess within a 30-minute plus show things have to progress very quickly, without the least amount of details or concerns. The average buyer visits at least 10 homes before making a decision, according to the National Association of Realtors research team, and this process may be over several weeks or months.

We as Realtors know that sometimes it’s a grinding and tedious process from the get-go to the finish. But those in the business know that everyone’s time is valuable and that those who have their minds and hearts into it and work diligently and efficiently will always be able to earn their commissions when all is said and done. Patience is a virtue and buyers, as well as Realtors, have to have fairly thick skin to make sales happen while at the same time minimizing the glitches and issues that constantly pop up during the process.

Scheduling an inspection prior to signing a contract is always a safe way to approach your purchase. In this fashion, any issues not known may be discovered by your inspector and then it can be determined how to address them with the sellers. Are all the added rooms legal and do they all have the certificates of occupancy in place? Is the property in foreclosure and is it being sold in “as is the condition.”? Can an inspection even be accomplished if the utilities (water, gas and electric been turned off) after having been winterized? I have suggested in a previous column that during the warmer months from May-October, that if the buyer gets an agreed and accepted contract, then they should be allowed to inspect the property.  But if they fail to move ahead, then they would have to re-winterize the property, but provide upfront monies in escrow to accomplish this. If they do go ahead, then those monies would go towards the closing costs. Only our government politicians can make these necessary, but, I believe advantageous changes would allow more end-users to purchase foreclosures instead of speculators.
There are some people who were brought up in rentals and don’t know exactly how to proceed with buying their first home. It is important to seek out a Realtor who will guide you through your journey in finding your first home. Your Realtor should provide you with the necessary guidance and education while spending valuable time searching for your first home. He or she should be capable and able to answer all the questions that may arise during the process or at least seek out answers. For a first-time home buyer, it can be very stressful, since it most likely will be the most valuable asset that the purchaser may own during his or her lifetime.

A top-notch Realtor will address issues and concerns to hopefully make your journey easier and more simplified. Situations occur that sometimes can’t always be rectified immediately, but your agent will try to do what is needed to fix what is wrong.  Patience is a requirement. There are times when nerves can be rattled and things happen that appear to be insurmountable and you want to bail out of a sale. But if you had that special feeling in the beginning and you knew that was the home you wanted, then stick it out, because there will generally be ways to solve the problems and the parties involved will address the issues. The light at the end of the tunnel is there, but people have to work at it to make it happen. Sellers know if there are issues, they won’t go away and if they lose one buyer, they will probably lose others going forward, unless a solution is found and that is where negotiations occur after the inspection. Lastly, there are plenty of publications that can be provided to lighten the load  and minimize the worries that can go along with purchasing your first home.

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and a Certified International Property Specialist. Receive regular “free” updates of sold homes in your area and a “free” Comparative Market Analysis” of what your home would sell for in today’s market or search on: WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com If you would like to receive a digital copy or a printed copy of “Unlocking the Secrets of Real Estate’s New Market Reality

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