The home-buying checklist

Geoff Roberts
Geoff Roberts | 3 min. read
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Published on February 7, 2011

The importance of being methodical when purchasing property can’t be overstated. As you go through the purchasing process, make sure you have accounted for each of the following items on our Home-Buying Checklist.

Look for Seasonal Slumps
As with every other type of shopping, some times of the year are better than others when it comes to purchasing property. Even during years when it’s a seller’s market, there will likely be certain months that are better suited for buyers than others. For example, home sales tend to be slower around the holidays when people are already feeling over-extended financially. Bad weather can also inhibit other would-be buyers from checking out potential purchases, which means less competition for you if you strap on those snow shoes and a couple of extra layers. It works to your benefit to slant your property purchases to these slower times of the year, when there is less competition out there to drive prices up.

Get Pre-approved
Obtaining a loan pre-approval will not only save you time in the long-run when you want to jump on a purchase as quickly as possible, but it will also help narrow your search parameters (after all, no use falling in love with a place that ends up being financially unfeasible). By having a solid idea of your price limit ahead of time, you can be sure that you’re not looking at properties that are above your price range or, alternatively, settling for an inferior property.

Find a Realtor Who’s Right for You
Finding a realtor you trust will make your search a much more simple endeavor and could even give you a jump on new-to-market listings. Begin by asking trusted sources for references and also be sure to research professionals in your area on Realtor.com. Remember, you’re paying your realtor — feel free to conduct interviews and make sure that you’re identifying just the right realtor.

Inspect, Inspect, Inspect
Though most states require inspections, even if they don’t, you want to get them done. Once you’ve signed the paperwork, the house is yours — problems and all. You are always best to enter into a property purchase as informed as possible. A property may seem like a steal, but if you have to replace the roof or resolve mold issues a few months down the line, you’re getting more than you bargained for. For more information on what you should specifically expect from a home inspection, be sure to check out this post.

Check the Title
Always make sure that the person you’re buying the house from is in the clear. As with repairs, you don’t want to pay a high price to assume someone else’s legal issues. Click here for more information on how to obtain information about titles and other public records in your area.

As we’ve discussed before on this blog, you can never do too much research when it comes to property purchasing. For more tips, take a look at some of our previous blog posts on the home-buying process.

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Geoff Roberts

Geoff is a marketer, surfer, musician, and writer. He lives in San Diego, CA.

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