4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Your First House

Buying a house is a huge deal. It’s not easy either. A lot of times you look for months for the perfect house and sometimes it doesn’t even pan out. Sometimes you put in an offer and it doesn’t work out. Why put yourself through that if you’re not ready? We put together a list of 4 main questions to ask yourself before you go through it. Be honest with yourself. The housing market is not going anywhere!

  1: Why do you want to buy a house?
One of the worst things you can do is buy a house because people are telling you to invest while the market is great.  Your parents, friends, coworkers may have some good advice for you after you decide that this is the right move for you but don’t do it just because other people are telling you. Buying a house is a major step in anyone’s life and the worst thing you can do is buy one because others are pressuring you. If you want to buy a house because it feels right, or youre looking for a place to start a family, or you just think its time to move out of the apartment you’ve had since you’re early twenties than do it! A lot of homebuyers that start want a house for one main reason: freedom. If you want to paint orange polka dots on your ceiling and have lime green as an accent wall you can do that. If that’s the real reason you’re buying than do it! Only start the process until you have come to that decision on your own.

2: Can you save up?
Owning is a lot more work than renting. Whenever your hot water tank doesn’t work, the lights flicker, or there’s no heat it is on you to fix it. The costs of owning a home are more than a lot of people realize until after they buy it. Once you sign on the dotted line that house and all of its issues have now become your issues. Most of the time, home buyers think of this when they do their inspection and they see what kind of things will have to be replaced. Keep these things in mind when you start to put in your offer. Remember- you’re going to need to save up some money in order to cover those times when things come up for your house. When the sewer goes or a pipe bursts-all of those things are a surprise. Just ask yourself how much of your income you’re willing to save in order to cover those costs.

3: Will you stay there for the next 5 years?
It will take a normal homebuyer about 5 years to recover from the closing costs alone when buying a home. If you move out sooner, there is a chance you will end up losing money on your initial investment.  Also, 5 years is pretty short in the grand scheme of your life. When you’re looking around certain areas ask yourself if you will still want to be here 5 years from now. Can the home accommodate a growing family? Will the area still be safe in the future? All of these things are important to think of- especially if you’re buying your first house.

4: What kind of house do you want?
Think of what you are going to do with the house when you are done with it. Let’s say after 5 years you and your family decide that you need something different. Are you going to sell it? Are you going to fix it up and re-sell it? Are you going to rent it out? If you are going to fix it up make sure that it is something you could foresee in the future or work on it as live in it. Do you have the costs to cover that? If you are going to rent it out after a certain period ask yourself about the location. For example- if you are near a college campus is the area walkable? It may seem far-fetched and into the future but at least you’re thinking ahead and can plan according to what you kind of think may happen.

If all of these questions have easy answers for you then you’re ready! Buying a house is an exciting process. It’s one of the greatest adventures you will ever take in your life. We just want to make sure you’re prepared. If you are buying or selling, we truly do wish you the best of luck. Happy buying! If you are looking to have an easy home buying process, Red Door Real Estate is more than happy to help you. We are opening doors all over WNY- let us help you open yours, just give us a call at 716-768-1177!

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Things To Do Before a Home Inspection

Buying and selling a house is exciting but is almost just as equally stressful. By the end of the journey most people just want to be done with it! The home inspection is no exception- it can be one of the most nail biting experiences of the entire process. There are some ways to make this part a lot easier on yourself. It doesn’t even take much! Most of the tips we have listed won’t take you more than a day to do or get together. Believe us-you’ll thank yourself when it’s all said and done. Here are some tips to make your home inspection go smoothly:

1: Give Access
Frankly put- if the inspector cannot get to what they need to, they can’t check it. Removing stuff out of the way of sinks, hot water units, furnaces, drain clean-outs, etc. can make their lives a lot easier. If they can’t get to certain spaces it may look bad to the buyer.

2: Do your repairs before the inspection
A lot of times, it is easy to forget to do certain things around the house that you have become blinded to. For example- the kitchen sink is usually slow to drain but that has not bothered you in months, but it will both the inspector and the potential buyer. Unclog any drains, fix any leaks, tighten up those few loose valves etc. Another good tip- check the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors! Just testing them to make sure they work can help you out too. Check the towns code just to be sure you have the right amount of detectors before you have the inspection done- sometimes it may vary from town to town. If there are a few minor things around the house that are not done it could potentially make the inspector think there are so some serious issues they may be missing.

3: Do some preventative maintenance
Just getting a few things cleaned and tuned up will mean a lot to the inspector and the potential buyer. Getting your HVAC system tuned up and cleaned and changing the filter means that you are still keeping up with the appliances in your home even though you may be leaving soon. Leave the receipts on the counter to show that you have kept up with these things. Getting the gutters cleaned or having the hot water tank checked as well will also help.

4: Clean the Home
Make no mistake- potential buyers would rather buy a home from someone who is neat and tidy over someone who is messy and even dirty. Wouldn’t you? If a home is neat and tidy it is usually a sign that the current owner takes a lot of pride in their home and they care about it. Making sure the home is clean for the inspection will give the impression that you care about what happens to it. It is a good way to start off the inspection process.

5: Leave the house
There is almost no reason for you to be there during the inspection process. Inspections can take a long time and the inspector has to do a lot of things- go up on the roof, turn the AC or furnace on full blast, open cabinets, the list goes on. You standing there watching them can make them nervous or hesitant to do certain things. It is also a time for the potential buyer to be there and able to speak freely without fear of offending you. A lot of time and money goes into buying a house, and it is a huge investment. The buyer has the right to be fully aware of what they’re getting into. Most home inspections take a while- so be sure to schedule for at least 3 hours away from your house.

6: Leave Any Receipts There
If there are things you have invested in during your time in owning the home it is important to let the inspector know. For example- if you have put in a new sewer then make sure the inspector is aware of it. That way, on the write up they can make it known that the sewer was replaced a few years ago so there is no need to check certain things. Any maintenance done to HVAC systems or replacements should be included there as well. It not only makes their life easier, but also builds the value of your home.

Home inspections determine a lot and they can be nerve wracking- there is no doubt about that. A lot goes into them. But following some of these easy tips can help. Buying and selling a home is a big milestone in anyone’s life and there is no reason to make it harder than it needs to be. We all wish you the best of luck in it and we hope we helped! For more tips on buying or selling just give us a call. We are opening doors all over WNY, and we would love to help you open yours. Just give us a call at 768-1177!

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5 Tips to Make the Buying Process Less Stressful

Buying and selling a house is one of the most stressful things someone can do in their lifetime. So much goes into it- the timing, the planning, etc. Everything needs to be planned perfectly and if one person does not hold up their end the entire thing could fall through. On the plus side, there is a few ways to not have to do this when looking for a house. For those of you that are about to, currently, or thinking of going on a house hunting journey these four tips should really help.

Tip 1: Decide What Your Requirements Are
Buying a house is one of the biggest and most important purchases a person will make in their lifetime. That being said, you want to love it, and if you’re moving with a partner you want them to love it too! Even when you’re even kind of thinking about it- nothing is set in stone, sit down with whomever you are moving with and think about what you want. How many bathrooms? Do you want a pool? How many bedrooms? Will you have a lot of people coming to visit? What size? What area of town? There’s a lot of decisions that are going to be made during this conversation. Write down and list the absolute minimum requirements for your future dream home. This will help the buyer’s agent find a home that you love too. It is important to get a house that you’re happy about, your partner is happy about, and that is functional for your lifestyle.

Tip 2: Get Pre Approved for a Mortgage
There are a lot of positives on getting pr eapproved for a mortgage. Number one on the list: it helps you to know your budget. One of the worst things is finding a house, falling in love and figuring out it’s just not in your price range. Getting pre approved can help get rid of that. It helps you know exactly how much you can borrow, and know your mortgage payment. Secondly, it also helps in the negotiating process. The seller will actually figure that since you are pre approved your offer is good and a sure thing. Because you’re pre approved, the seller will take your offer over other peoples because it adds a level of certainty.

Tip 3: Don’t Rush the Process
The second you decide you want to buy a house, start getting ready to buy a house. Give yourself enough time to do everything you want to do. Nobody wants to buy a house they kind of like, only to find the one you love days later. Give it some time to find exactly what you want. Start exploring your options early on, as this can help you minimize stress. The feeling of urgency is one of the number one reasons this process can be so stressful. Avoid that by giving yourself ample time to figure out what is perfect for you and your family.

Tip 4: Plan your viewings
Instead of having 15 different viewings all on different days, see if it’s possible to block off hours for multiple viewings in one day. Trying for weekdays is also good as less people go for viewings during the week. Your agent is also going to be able to give you more of their attention.

Tip 5: Get an Agent
Getting an agent is one of the most important parts of the process. Agents know the process like the back of their hand. They can help you navigate the market and decide what works and what doesn’t. They are there to carry most of the workload during the buying process. They are there to make it as easy as possible for you. An agent can be one of the best tools you can have. They are there to advise you on what to do, how much to offer, and answer any of your other questions. Finding an agent you can trust, rely on, and call with any new information is important. Lastly, they have access to newer listings before other people do- which means they can find your dream house faster than you can sometimes.
Hopefully using these five tips will help to ease your buying process and make it less stressful for you! Remember that at the end of it will be exactly what you wanted- the house you need for this point in your life. No matter what happens, house hunting is quite the adventure. We wish you all the luck with it. We do like being a part of the adventure however. Red Door of WNY is opening doors all over WNY! Give us a call or stop in and we can help you open yours!

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