If you’re new to the process of home buying or selling, you may feel overwhelmed by the complexities of the real estate market. And even seasoned homeowners can have a hard time keeping up with this ever-changing industry. So here are a few things to know in order to be better equipped:
Mortgage Loan Qualifications
Before you start looking for a new home, you need to figure out how much house you can afford based on your income and budget. A lender will look at your credit history, your credit score, and your monthly expenses in order to get you pre-approved for a home loan.
If you have excellent credit, you can often qualify for a higher amount. So it’s always a good idea to get your credit history as squeaky clean as you can before you even start the process: contact the national credit bureaus and request a copy of your credit reports to make sure the information they have is accurate and file a dispute if you need to have mistakes corrected or removed from your reports.
Just like you took time to choose a realtor to find you the perfect home, it’s important to select an experienced, knowledgeable home inspector before you go through with the purchase of your new house. Read online reviews and look at sample inspection reports to choose the best in your area.
A home inspection should cover the interior and exterior of the house as well as the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. The roof, basement, attic, and foundations should be checked for potential problems, as well as the major appliances included in the deal. Your front and backyards should also be thoroughly checked to uncover potential drainage or flooding issues. Don’t rush the home inspection process; the more you know about the house you’re planning on buying, the better equipped you are to negotiate the price down.
Home Repair Records and Capital Improvements
If you’re planning on putting your home on the market, you need to keep proper records of all the repairs and improvements you made to your property in order to come up with an accurate appraisal. Capital improvements include major renovations or upgrades like a new kitchen or bathroom, a pool or spa addition, or even a second-story addition.
Some expensive upgrades aren’t so obvious to the naked eye, but they can also greatly increase the value of your home: new insulation, copper plumbing, a new roof, double-pane windows, smart thermostats, and high-efficiency appliances all add up to a higher listing price for your property. So make sure to keep track of all your receipts, warranties, permits, and inspection reports to show the real value of your home to interested buyers.
Digital File Organization
Using a PDF online tool will help you keep all your documents organized. You’ll be able to make changes, add pages, and share your files with your bank, your real estate agent, or any other party, thanks to this portable format. So when you’re planning a house purchase and putting your records together, think about digitizing all your financial and legal paperwork. Make sure they’re organized by file-naming them accordingly and even keeping them in appropriate folders. You’ll avoid misplacing or losing important information, and you’ll have everything at your fingertips, where and when it’s needed, during your home buying or home-selling journey.
The more you know about your financial situation, the better equipped you’ll be to research mortgages and get approved. And if you’re planning on selling, keeping all important records in one place will save you time when it comes to appraising your property. Digitizing your files is an excellent method for safekeeping and sharing information.
Planning on selling your home or buying a house? Contact ellingwoodpro.com for a free certified home inspection estimate.
Guest Author: Sharon Wagner