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Buyer’s guide to a successful home purchase

estate agent giving house keys of customer and holding dollar us bank at agency office.

Buying a home isn’t as simple as finding a house and paying for it. Especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you need to get acquainted with the home buying processes that are in place. This kind of preparation is important if you want an easy and stress-free buying experience.

At Coldwell Banker Traditions, we want to make the buying process as easy as possible. That’s why we made this first-time homebuyer guide to Williamsburg, VA real estate and its surrounding areas. Read on for useful home buying tips and other helpful information that will ensure success in your first foray into real estate.

What should you do before buying a home?

A house is one of the most expensive purchases anyone can make. Start your home buying journey by looking into the financial aspects of the purchase.

  • Review your finances

    The first step of a successful home purchase is setting the right budget. Sit down with your financial advisor and look at your savings, expenses, debt-to-income ratio, and the like. Also, consider how you’re going to pay for the home. See if it’s better to pay in cash or to apply for a mortgage.

  • Learn about mortgages

    Getting a mortgage is the most common way homebuyers finance their purchase. In looking for the right mortgage loan, pay attention to the fine print in the paperwork. You can also go mortgage shopping by talking to several lenders and finding out what each can offer, given your financial capacity.

  • Check your credit score

    Your credit score determines how much interest you’ll pay for your loan. The higher your credit score is, the lower your interest rate and vice versa. Improve your credit score by paying any outstanding debts and refraining from taking out other loans before your home purchase.

Should you hire a real estate agent?

Yes! A real estate agent’s primary job is to provide ease in any real estate transaction. In your case as a homebuyer, your agent should help you navigate through the more complicated parts of this process and advise you on the best course of action.

Realtors have the experience, expertise, and tools to make your real estate purchase a success. Here are some tips on finding the right real estate agent for you:

  • Check their credentials
  • Look at their past transactions
  • Interview them face-to-face
  • Ask for their references

When buying a home in Williamsburg, Yorktown, Newport News, Hampton, New Kent, Gloucester, VA, choose Coldwell Banker Traditions. We’ve been helping buyers in finding their ideal home for decades. Get in touch with us today by calling 757.229.9595 or send us an email to info(at)cbtraditions(dotted)com. You can also leave us a message here.

How do you find a home that fits your lifestyle?

House hunting is the most enjoyable part of the homebuying process. However, one can easily get carried away and be overwhelmed by the huge variety of homes for sale in Williamsburg, VA.

For a house hunt to be productive, set your eyes on the prize, so to say. Focus on your wants and needs first then create a list of must-haves for your potential home. Ask yourself the following questions to help you with your non-negotiables:

  • How many bedrooms/bathrooms do I need?
  • How many levels should the house have?
  • What type of amenities do I want?
  • How big a backyard do I need?

Location is also a crucial factor to consider during your home purchase. The neighborhood you choose will have an impact on your lifestyle so make sure you pick something that will suit your needs.

If you want a place that’s near great shopping and dining destinations, for example, Williamsburg might be the ideal neighborhood for you. For those who want to live near the water, Yorktown’s coastal and lakefront homes may be perfect.

What should you ask the seller?

When attending open houses, learn everything you can about the home like the year it was built, major renovations done to it, and the like. These questions will help you decide whether you should proceed to make an offer or not, as well as the amount of money you want to put on the table. Once you have these in mind, your real estate agent can help you craft a fair and competitive offer.

How does escrow work?

If your offer is accepted by the seller, you will go into escrow. Your payment and the deed of the property will be placed in the hands of a reliable third party until all the contingencies from both parties are met.

What does closing mean?

Closing in the real estate sense is when property ownership is officially transferred from the buyer to the seller. This stage includes a title search, a final walkthrough, and the signing of the final papers.