10 Tips for Buying a New Home

Buying a home can seem like a massive undertaking, but with the right strategy, it doesn't have to be hard! If you're planning on buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks in the near future, it's time to start strategizing. Fran Campbell Team is here to help make the process easier with these simple (but crucial!) tips.

1. Get Prequalified
The trick to a successful home buying process is preparation. You never know when you think you're going to go tour "just another home" and you end up stumbling across the home of your dreams. Getting prequalified for a mortgage loan shows sellers that you are serious about buying and it will keep you one step ahead of other buyers.

2. Determine Your Top Ten
Your top ten amenities, that is. In your opinion, what are the most important features for your new home to possess? A wood-burning fireplace? Hardwood floors? Vaulted ceilings? Identifying your priorities ahead of time will help you weed out homes that will not be a good fit and will keep you organized in your home search.

3. Research, Research, Research
Sellers won't call you and ask you to come look at their homes - you have to take care of the legwork on your own. Work with your Lake of the Ozarks real estate agent to find homes that could be a good fit, and spend some extra time on your own perusing listings. You never know when and where you're going to find your perfect home.

4. Value, Value, Value
No matter how long you plan on staying in your next home, you should always keep the resale value of your home in mind when you buy Lake of the Ozarks real estate. If you buy properties with room for improvement and top-notch customization, you will probably be able to make money off of your home in the future!

5. Consider The Seller's Perspective
You're about to make a purchase that will affect both your and the seller's lives forever. As you prepare to negotiate the sale of a home, it's important to consider the seller's perspective. What made them fall in love with the home in the first place? What made them decide to sell now? Closely analyzing the seller's perspective will help you learn more about the home as you decide whether or not (and how) to move forward.

6. Shop Mortgage Rates
In a perfect world, you could waltz into a potential home, proclaim "I like this one!" and POOF - the home would be yours. In the real world, however, most of us cannot afford to buy a home without the help of a mortgage lender. There are several different types of mortgage loans available, and each one comes with its unique set of advantages and potential drawbacks. Before you buy a home at the Lake, it's important to visit with potential lenders and carefully consider which type of mortgage loan will be right for you.

7. Fixed Rate vs Adjustable Rate Mortgages
While we're on the subject of different types of mortgage loans, we thought we'd take a quick look at the differences between the two main forms of loans: fixed rate loans and adjustable rate loans. Fixed rate mortgages lock in an interest rate that will remain constant for the duration of the loan (typically either fifteen or thirty years). Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) have a fixed rate for an initial period of time, but then the rate will adjust to reflect the current market. 

Adjustable rate mortgages can be appealing because their initial rate is typically lower than those of fixed rate mortgages. If you plan on only being in a home for a short time, adjustable rate mortgages may be a good fit. Fixed rate mortgages are usually the best options for buyers who plan on staying in the home for several years (or those who do not know when they plan to move next). It is important to openly discuss your options with your lender to determine the best option for you and your family.

8. Get A High-Quality Home Inspection
Did you know that most people actually pay more for an inspection of a pre-owned vehicle than they do for their next potential home? No matter how thorough the seller's disclosure is, you cannot possibly know all of the potential issues that could arise in your home. Hiring a professional, experienced home inspector up front can potentially save you thousands of dollars in home repairs down the road.

9. Purchase A Home Protection Plan
Are you familiar with home protection plans? These are special insurance policies that protect a very specific (but nonetheless quite expensive) part of your home - your appliances. Home protection plans (also called home warranties) will pay for the repair or replacement of home appliances if they break down due to normal wear and tear. Home warranties typically cover one-year increments. With proper negotiation, the seller may agree to purchase the home warranty on your behalf.

10. Protect Yourself
Buying a home is by far the biggest investment most people make in their lifetime. When you put in an offer or sign an initial contract on a home, it's important to make sure you protect yourself. Your real estate agent can coach you on the exact contingencies you should include in your contract, but common examples include financing and inspections. The idea is to give yourself opportunities to get out of the contract in the event that previously unknown issues arise.

Buying a Home? Fran Campbell Team Is Here To Help
Buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks is a big step, and it's important to make sure all of the details are handled appropriately. If you're thinking about buying, we invite you stop by and meet one of our experienced real estate agents. We look forward to helping you find your new home!

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to schedule a showing!

Real Estate Lake of the Ozarks : Find Your Dream Home Now! 


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