12 Things You Should Know Before Buying A Home, According To Real Estate Agents
If a home has no yard space, you *might* want to reconsider.
For many people, it's tough to wrap their heads around the long, complicated process of buying a home. There are just sooo many variables, so many ways to prepare, and so many things to avoid.
So to help you learn a bit more about ways to prepare for the home-buying process, we rounded up some of the best pieces of advice from the real estate agents of TikTok.
And while there's been a lot of, um, questionable pieces of financial advice floating around TikTok, these tips come from *real* real estate agents.
The TikTok explains that, sure, a home inspection can help you find things that may be wrong with the house. But it can also help you learn how to locate and use different things around the home — like the electrical panel. Bottom line: A home inspection is very much worth the money!
This video from @kerishullteam outlining four very important things to consider when looking for a home (because believe it or not, some of these things get overlooked all. The. Time.).
The TikToker/realtor explains the importance of location, home features, price, and home type. When it comes to location, think about where you work, the shops you enjoy, and the parks you like going to. This way, you can find the location that suits your lifestyle.
According to the realtor, buying a car, running up your credit card, buying furniture or appliances, and cosigning on other loans are all HUGE no-no's when you're waiting to close on your home. You should also avoid changing jobs and making large account deposits; wait until AFTER you've closed on the home.
4. This video from @janinenissa on the *one thing* you should probably never do when touring a home — and, honestly, WOW.
According to the TikToker, you should avoid commenting on the home while you're touring it. They say it's because many homes have cameras in them so homeowners can hear what you're saying. A compliment about the yard space, for example, could hurt you during negotiations, the realtor said.
According to the TikTok, you'll need tax returns showing a steady income, a credit score of at least 580, and about $5K–$10K in a savings account. These savings are recommended on top of what you've socked away for your your down payment and fees as a home emergency fund.
6. This video from @yourmortgageguide on why it's important for self-employed people to have two years' worth of tax returns when starting the home-buying process.
The TikToker, who is actually a mortgage loan officer, breaks things down for a follower who commented about having a business but not having enough tax return history for a home. They explain that banks lend buyers a lot of money for a home purchase and need to make sure that the buyer/borrower can earn the money they need to repay the mortgage.
According to the realtor, you should avoid buying a house on a busy street, a house with no garage (especially if the other homes in the neighborhood all have garages), a house with no yard space, and a house that backs industrial or apartment complexes.
8. This video from @mzmovesyou listing some *reaaally* good reasons why you should get preapproved for a loan before you start looking for homes.
The real estate agent mentions that getting preapproved shows your buying power. In other words, preapproval can tell you how much you can afford, what types of loans you qualify for, what your monthly payments will look like, and about how much cash you'll need for closing on the home.
9. This video from @vanessaaragonrealtor explaining a general timeline for how long it usually takes to buy a home.
The TikToker explains that, first and foremost, you should start getting familiar with your credit scores ASAP. This way, you'll know if you should start taking action to improve them before beginning the home-buying process. Then, if you want to close on a home by November, you should start connecting with a realtor as early as May.
10. This video from @carolynebeaulne listing out some ~expected expenses~ that you should make sure you understand before starting the home-buying process.
The realtor mentions a laundry list of expenses you should be prepared for: a down payment worth 1%–20%, a $500 appraisal fee, a home inspection — which can cost between $300 and $450 — closing costs, and moving expenses (like storage space or moving trucks).
The realtor suggests checking appliances (like stoves), checking underneath rugs for floor damage, checking light fixtures, and checking the overall condition of the home to make sure nothing is damaged or defective.
And this video from @tiktokrealtordavid on some important guidelines for buying a home as a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient.
The TikToker explains that DACA recipients and DREAMers have access to FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans as of January 20, 2021. They also break down a few key points these individuals should know before starting the process — like the fact that they must have a valid social security number and the home they buy must be their primary residence.
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