Monday, August 16, 2010

Top 10 Things to Know Before Buying Your Lexington Home!

Across the nation, cities are affirming the fact that, in the real estate world today, it truly is a buyers’ market. Of course the same rings true in the Lexington MA real estate market and there are many great homes from which to choose! The current market along with the recent tax credit had spurred many potential buyers to jump in head first to the market; which has proved a great move for many who have bought a home in the past few years. But what about now? There’s no longer a tax credit being offered and it seems that the market is improving for sellers as well. Have you been wrestling with whether or not buying a home is the right decision for you? Let’s take a look at the top 10 things to know before buying a home.

1. Stay Put- If you can’t commit to living in your home in Lexington for more than a few years; it’s probably not the wisest decision to buy. There are a lot of costs that come into play with buying and selling a home, and with the market in a still shaky place, you will more than likely lose money on the home.

2. Organize Your Credit- Before you begin looking at the wonderful homes in Lexington, be sure your credit is in order. Get copies of your credit report and verify that all information is correct. This way, when you’re ready to begin your search, your credit is as clean as possible and accurate!

3. Aim for Affordability- Be sure to look at Lexington homes that you can truly afford. It’s a general rule that you place your price point at 2 ½ times your annual salary. However, with all of the online tools that are available; you can quickly determine your estimated costs and get a clearer picture of what your actual monthly costs will be. Don’t stretch yourself too thin- it will be hard to keep up in the end.

4. Don’t Fret about the Down Payment- Even if you can’t put down the typical 20% for the down payment; you may still qualify for a loan. There are a large number of private and public lenders in Lexington who will work with your needs. They can offer lower interests rates that could mean that you only will have to pay 3% of the homes’ worth up front.

5. Search out Schools- Even if you don’t have children, you’ll want to buy a home within a solid school district. Luckily for Lexington, the school systems are top notch! The chance for selling your home can depend largely on the type of school district your home is in.

6. Seek Out a Professional- It may seem like a breeze to find your dream home online and take matters into your own hands. But, when it comes to negotiating and all of the paperwork that is entailed in buying a home; a realtor can be a great advantage. Let me know if you have any questions!

7. Make a Smart Choice Between Points and Rates- Oftentimes, you have a choice when picking out a mortgage rates between lower closing costs or lower interest rates. You can pay additional points at closing which means that you are paying off a portion of the interest rate. If you are going to be in your Lexington home for over 3 years, choosing this additional costs upfront will lower your interest rate and be more cost effective in the long run.

8. Get Pre-Approved- As exciting as looking at homes in Lexington may be; you’ll want to be sure to get pre-approved for a loan. This will allow you to get a better idea of what you can afford and will allow you to make solid offers if the right house comes along. Pre-approval is different from pre-qualification as it takes into consideration your credit history, debt, current bills and income.

9. Review the Comparative Market Analysis- Your Lexington Real Estate agent can give you a CMA which will give you the sale prices of similar homes in the area along with other information. This will help you determine where the market is in that Lexington neighborhood and help you come up with a reasonable offer.

10. Hire a Home Inspector- You may feel that the banks’ home appraisal is adequate in determining if the home is in good shape, but their appraisal looks solely at if the home is worth the amount you’ve agreed to pay. A home inspector will thoroughly inspect the home for damage or issues that will require repair down the road. You want to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting when it comes to such a large purchase!

I hope these tips have been helpful! If you have any further questions about buying a home in Lexington or are ready to begin your home search; let me know! I would be happy to help you each step of the way in finding the home of your dreams in Lexington!

Theresa D'Antuono
Lexington MA Real Estate Agent
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