Essential Tasks When Buying a New Home

Home ownership has traditionally been the surest way to accumulate wealth. This is especially true when you buy new housing in an upcoming neighborhood. A new home is at the beginning of its lifespan and conforms to the latest building codes. As with any large purchase, however, there are essential tasks that a prudent buyer should undertake.

Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

Years ago, buyers found a house first and then applied for a mortgage. The home-buying process has changed. Real estate agents prefer to show homes to serious buyers with the proven financial assets to purchase a property.

This policy can work to your advantage if you decide to offer less than the purchase price. The seller will be told that you already qualify for a mortgage. If the seller accepts your offer, he or she is fairly certain to close the deal. This policy applies even to buying property in new housing developments. There is nothing stopping you from negotiating a better deal.

Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

Like doctors, lawyers have different specialties. A real estate lawyer understands all the nuances of contracts within the industry. In case you are not aware, there has never been a "standard" real estate contract. Your attorney will insert clauses that protect your earnest money and the terms of the sale should anything unusual happen, such as an inspector finding structural problems. This rarely happens when buying a new home but is not unheard of.

The seller is not obligated to accept your conditions, and his attorney may want to alter the contract to the seller's favor. The contract will go between lawyers until both parties agree to the terms. When you decide to buy a property, do not sign a contract on the spot. Get the pertinent information and provide it to your attorney.

Find a Realtor

Real estate agents are worth their weight in gold. They do a lot of work behind the scenes to connect a buyer and seller and bring the deal to fruition. As a buyer, a realtor can research similar properties in the neighborhood and inform you of their selling price. It can help you to decide how much to offer the seller.

Additionally, a real estate agent will inform you whether a neighborhood is upcoming and popular. They are familiar with the schools, shopping, nearby highways, and other amenities in the area. A realtor's commission comes from the seller's portion of the money unless you have agreed otherwise in the sales contract.

Once you have the mortgage approval, a lawyer, and realty services lined up, it's time to look for your dream home. Let the professionals guide you toward a smooth transaction and home ownership.