It could be overwhelming to decide on a new home to buy. Here are some tips and some tools that can be used before you take the plunge.
Some crucial steps to do before purchasing a home or new property are:
– Establish a budget and decide on what you can and can not afford
– Ensure that your credit is built up and solid
– Make sure to save for the down payment as well as the closing costs
– Plan on living in the property for at least 5 years (most financial experts argue that you make up any of the expenses back until you live in the property for a minimum of five years)
– Weigh the pros and cons of buying to renting (even though Trulia has found that buying a home is roughly 35% cheaper in the long run)
– Know the home buying process
– Learn as much as you can about the prospective home that you want to buy
– And most importantly, make sure you like the home!
Some crucial tools that we will be exploring tin this post are:
– MLS.com and MLS, and
– CLUE report
MLS.com and MLS:
MLS.com is a free multiple listing search for you to find real estate listings by realtors and other realty professionals. MLS.com can help you find foreclosures, find new homes, find condos, look into international real estate, moving quotes, and even some real estate training. Though MLS is one tool to use when looking into buying a home, there are hundreds of private MLS that are maintained and paid for by real estate professionals. MLS stands for multiple listing services or multiple listing system. Plain and simple, it is a database of home listing but at the same time, it is much more than that. An MLS database provides brokers access to information about properties and different assets that they might be interested in. Not just anyone can post onto an MLS and access to posting to the database is limited to brokers and licensed agents that pay for their membership. A way that buyers, aka you, can benefit from MLS-listed properties is from obtaining information about all of these properties while only having to work with one broker, if you chose to explore the private MLS listings.
When looking into buying a new home it would essential to have a CLUE report about the property. A CLUE report provides information on insurance claims and policy numbers relating to the home. The report will also list the dates of the claims made, the amounts paid for losses, and if a claim was denied. Some of the types of claims that can be listed could be fire, weather related losses, vandalism, theft, and water damage to name a few. However, you will need to ask the homeowner where the property was damaged as this information is not provided in the report. If you ask for a CLUE report and it comes back blank, there could be two reasons for this. One, it could be that there have not been any claims made for that property in the past seven years, or secondly, it could be that the home was covered by an insurance company that does not participate in CLUE. It is important to note that only the owner of the property has access to the CLUE report so you must request it from the owner of the home that you are considering to buy.
The home buying process will be extensive and should require lots of research but hopefully these two tools can assist in your home buying process!