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Five Ways You Can Make Your Home Buying Easier

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<p>Buying a home can be an emotional, time-consuming, and complex process. There 
  are a few things that you can do to help make the process go as smooth as possible: 
</p>
<h3>Check your Credit </h3>
<p>  Before you apply for a home loan, regardless of your credit, it's a smart idea 
  to obtain a copy of your credit report from the major credit bureaus and review 
  the information. If there are errors or things that need to be addressed, it's 
  easier to address them before you have found a house, than after you have found 
  a house and are trying to close your loan. </p>
<p>If you know that there are a few blemishes on your credit, let your lender 
  know what they are, why they are there, and why you are still a good credit 
  risk. Lenders look at your credit to determine how likely you are to pay back 
  the loan. If you had extenuating circumstances - like a loss of a job or medical 
  bills - let them know so that they understand that it is not likely to happen 
  again in the future. </p>
<h3>Get Pre-Approved before you buy </h3>
<p> A pre-approval means that a lender has reviewed your credit history, verified 
  your assets and employment, and has approved your loan before you have found 
  a home to purchase. As long as the home is valued for at least the purchase 
  price, the loan should be granted. </p>
<p>Getting pre-approved also gives you an advantage over other buyers. Your pre-approval 
  makes it easier for you to negotiate on the price of a home, than a person who 
  is not pre-approved. </p>
<p>While getting pre-qualified may sound official, it is really just getting an 
  idea of what you can afford. Its having a person punch in a few numbers that 
  you give them - your monthly income and your monthly debt - and getting an approximate 
  payment calculated. From the payment, the calculator can approximate the house 
  price range that you can afford. No information is verified. Because your assets, 
  income or credit is not verified, a pre-qualification has little value when 
  purchasing a home. </p>
<h3>Learn about the Neighbourhood </h3>
<p>  Often the house you find may be in a neighbourhood that you're not familiar 
  with, which is okay. It just means that you'll have to do a little more research. 
  If you find a house that you like, ask for a list of the neighbourhood properties 
  that sold in the last year. How does your home rank? Is it at the top of the 
  price range? If so, it might be hard to resell. Is it average or on the low 
  end? If so, great - as the other home prices go up in value, they will pull 
  your home's value up as well. Check out the schools - are they sought after? 
  A good school district means your neighbourhood will always be valued by families 
  which is a great reassurance to purchase, not to mention the value-add if you 
  have school-age children. </p>
<p>Next, contact the police station and obtain crime statistics? Are they acceptable 
  to you? Sometimes, if they won't give them to you, it could be a cause for alarm. 
</p>
<p>Talk to the neighbours. The more people you talk to, the better sense you will 
  get of who makes up the neighbourhood and how they will affect your time spent 
  in it. </p>
<p>Check out the location of the shopping centres, police and fire stations, schools, 
  and air traffic overhead. These are all things that might affect your property 
  value or quality of your life. </p>
<h3>Protect Yourself </h3>
<p>  Ask your Estate Agent for a copy of the documents you will be asked to sign 
  if you decide to buy the house. Read them ahead of time so that you'll understand 
  the questions that you will be asked, the things you need to know, and the decisions 
  you will need to make </p>
<h3>Have Reasonable Expectations </h3>
<p>  There is a lot of money at stake. No house is perfect. Understanding and remembering 
  these two statements will help diffuse the negotiation and the closing stage.</p>
<p>Emotions are high for both buyers and sellers. The seller may have loving memories 
  and years of sweat equity in the house. Maybe they are being relocated and don't 
  want to go. Understanding their motivations for selling will help you appreciate 
  their situation and predicament during these emotional times. </p>
<p>There is a lot of money at stake for all the parties involved (and that includes 
  the estate agents). Just remember that market value (the value of a home) is 
  the price that a willing buyer and a willing seller can agree to. If you cannot 
  agree on a price, ask yourself: Is there something you missed? Are there comparables 
  that support the price that they want? Are there motivations that might factor 
  into the price they are demanding? In the end, does it matter? What is the house 
  worth to you today and what do you think you can reasonably sell it for based 
  on the amount of time you plan to spend in it? Think about the answers to those 
  questions before you make your move. </p>
<p>No house is perfect - always get an inspection. It might be a few hundred rand, 
  but it's worth it. It's the inspector's job to find any problems with the house 
  that could cost you thousands to repair down the road. Some inspectors have 
  a tendency to over play the importance of their role and the items that they 
  find. Get objective opinions that you trust before making a decision on an inspection 
  report. Likewise, if an inspector says a foundation is cracked but its nothing 
  to worry about - get a second opinion. Ask a handyman for an idea of how much 
  repairs will cost and how complicated they are. </p>
<p>The home buying process is an emotional, complex and time-consuming process, 
  but it is worth it. Nothing compares to owning your own home in a neighbourhood 
  that you chose.
</p>
 
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