What's Missing on Most Home Buyer's Checklists?

Jeanette Joy Fisher

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In a search for “Home Buyer's Checklist, " I found articles, spread sheets, and tips with differing advice. Some of this advice includes:

1. Know your location

2. Negotiate price

3. Check for amenities and compare to other homes

4. Inspect the house for defects

It seems that the real estate websites want you to choose a home and blindly put your money in escrow. These home buying tips should include more information for home buyers to make a solid home purchase.

Always leave yourself a way out of any home purchase contract until you get your home inspection and have time to fully investigate the property, neighborhood, and your financing terms.

Add These Tips to Your Home Buyer's Checklist

1. Get your financing arranged before you look for a home. See your bank or loan officer before you see a real estate agent. You must know how much you qualify for in a mortgage and how much money you need to close. When you meet these basic requirements, you'll know the price range to shop.

2. Purchase an Owners Title Policy to cover your interest. Although you need a title policy for your mortgage lender, this only covers the loan amount. An Owners Title Policy costs little and protects your equity.

3. Know your property boundaries. In many locations, this involves getting a survey so you understand exactly what you're buying.

4. Use an attorney when you need legal advice. Most agents can advise you on local customs, not legal issues.

5. Read the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of the subdivision (CC&Rs). If you're purchasing a condominium, know what the association fees are and your legal rights. You need to know if you must always occupy the property or if you can rent it, if children are allowed, and what the association does. Do they paint the exterior, landscape, and send you an extra bill?

6. Do a final walk-thru before handing over your down payment and signing closing documents.

7. Make sure the seller's move out on time. Once they get their money and the house changes ownership, you have no leverage if they damage something or don't leave.

If you use a knowledgeable real estate agent, he or she should protect your rights and money. If you buy from an owner, you need to take extra precautions. Buying a home should be a fun experience. Enjoy searching for the right home. Avoid mistakes and make a decision you'll be happy living with for many years.

Copyright © 2005 Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved. (You may publish this article in its entirety with the following author's information with live links only. )

Jeanette Fisher teaches home buyers how to satisfy the six credit requirements to buy their dream home or multiple investment properties. For free Credit Tips for Home Financing ebook and more home purchase information, visit http://www.recredithelp.com .


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