Common Home Buying Myths: Busted!

Whether you've never bought a home before or are a seasoned homeowner, don't allow these common home purchasing fallacies to keep you from finding the perfect property for you. 

To set your mind at ease, we'll help you sort through some of the most popular home buying myths. 

Myth #1: Looking for a Home is the First Step

At some point or another, we’ve all been guilty of window-shopping for houses online. Some of us may even be guilty of driving to a neighborhood to see a home in person! You’re just looking, you just want to get a feel. But, stop! You are guaranteed to run the risk of setting your heart on the house and only to have it broken.

You could be viewing a home that is in a higher price range than what you are qualified for. Browsing and dreaming can be fun, but when it comes to buying, you need to ensure your credit is in tip-top shape and get pre-approved for a mortgage before you go too far. You need to be aware of what your budget is! 

Myth #2: You Only Pay the Down Payment Up-Front

Only in a dream world! For instance, the seller may determine that you are responsible for closing costs, which can range from 3% to 6% of the purchase price. 

Don't forget the fees, taxes, and other expenses for inspections, and insurance, among other factors.

Myth #3: Home Inspections Aren’t Necessary

Sellers would love for you to neglect this critical step! It implies you'll get the house just as it is, with all of its flaws. And sometimes the flaws aren't immediately apparent.

You may be tempted to skip out on getting an inspection because the market is hot and you’re scared that a buyer who chooses to waive a home inspection could purchase the house before you. Trust us, it is not worth it in the long run! Inspections will save you time and especially money!

Myth #4: You Don’t Need a Real Estate Agent

The internet causes many homeowners to feel empowered these days when it comes to home-buying. You may ask yourself, why do I even need to hire a real estate professional? 

Real estate agents are indispensable in the home-buying process. You will greatly benefit from their knowledge when it comes to the search, negotiating, assistance with legalities, and much more. You will never regret having a real estate agent you trust on your team.

Myth #5: You Must Put 20% Down 

Affordability is usually a significant concern for prospective homebuyers, and this includes determining how much money to save for a down payment on a house. While a 20% down payment may provide certain advantages, such as avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) or lowering your monthly mortgage payment, it is not the sole option.

Other down payment amounts, such as 5%, 10%, or 15%, may provide you more choice in determining what property price to strive for and might be a less intimidating amount of money to have saved before closing on your home.

So, Now What?

There are an endless number of myths and misconceptions when it comes to the world of home-buying. Most important of all, make it a priority to find yourself a realtor who you can trust and would like to work with! 

Our real estate professionals with 316 Realty Group encompass the highest degree of integrity, knowledge, and experience, and our goal is to achieve your real estate goals! Contact us today so we can guide you through the home-buying process!

Checklist: Moving Into Your New Home

You’ve woken up from the first night at your new home. You step into your kitchen and gleefully soak in the view of your beautiful backyard from the kitchen sink window. You turn around to approach the coffee pot. You are looking forward to this first cup of coffee so much, only to realize you haven’t even unpacked your coffee maker! Then you also realize there is no hot water to wash your dishes or take that well-deserved shower!

You must ensure that when moving into a new home, the necessities are taken care of promptly! It takes planning and discipline, but if you put it all off then those first few days in your new home will be a nightmare! 

We’re going to run through 3 key points that are crucial for your comfort and safety. Let’s jump right in!

Do a Walkthrough

If you are able, walk through your new home while it's empty before moving in. This can be helpful because it allows you to envision and plan your belongings in the space and how they will fit. Make you bring a tape measure too, so you have an even more accurate idea of where your furniture will go.

When you are walking through, be sure to check on any agreed-upon repairs, appliances, or belongings that were supposed to be left or removed, and the working order of outlets and lights. If you come across any problems, you should raise them as soon as possible to the appropriate party. 

Transfer Utilities

When you move out of your home, you’ll have the gas, electric, and water shut off to prevent any mishaps or accidents while the home is vacant. But before you close escrow, be sure to transfer all of these utilities to your new home so there is ample time for them to be up and running. 

If utilities aren’t already set to be turned on, it could very well take companies a few weeks to come out. Make sure to call utility companies before moving day so you know you will have all utilities up and running before you move into your new home. Here’s some perspective: think about how miserable it would be in the heat moving in and out without the air conditioning running!

Change Over Locks

You never know for sure if the keys you are handed over to you by the seller are the only set of keys they own. If you want the utmost security and peace of mind, make it a priority on day one to install new locks on each exterior door. 

Home security can mean different things to different people, but some other further steps you could take besides changing the locks are installing motion detectors or cameras, a smart doorbell, or a full home security system.

The Bottom Line

Make a checklist for yourself when moving to avoid excess stress and potential chaos! These were just 3 essential actions to take, but of course, there are many more, such as updating your mailing address, setting up garbage pickup, setting up autopay for new mortgage payments and the list can go on. 

The new checklist can make you feel like you’ll never relax and be able to enjoy your new space, but in no time all of your duties will be checked off! Now it's time to make your new house feel like home!

Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

So many of us have done it. You are browsing through homes for sale online and one catches your eye. You fall in love instantly and immediately begin to envision yourself there. That’s it, this house must be yours!

You arrive to view the home, only to find there are homes around you that look like they’re running a junkyard, the road isn’t as calm and tucked away as you’d like it to be, and there is a lot of through traffic that makes you uncomfortable, especially having little children.

With all of that being said, if you're thinking about buying a home, keep in mind that you're also investing in the neighborhood. You’ll never love your house and want to stay if you don’t also love your neighborhood.

That’s why we’re going to share tips and tricks on how to scope out and be your own detective when it comes to finding the perfect neighborhood for you!

Drive Around & Do Your Homework

One of the most effective ways to get a feel for what a neighborhood is really like is to go drive or walk around it at different times of the day. Take mental notes on what you see while scoping out the area!

Interaction With Neighbors

When walking or driving through a potential neighborhood, it’s important to be aware of any people that approach you and make eye contact with you, which could be a sign of a friendly community. Tools like also showcase which communities have good schools, and more data that reflect a great community and surrounding area.

Observing Surrounding Area

Check for any abandoned buildings or vacant lots, which could be used in the future for commercial development and could definitely impact the feeling in the neighborhood and impact the value of the surrounding properties. Look at the average property taxes for that specific area over a span of several years, and note any fluctuation. You could also dive deeper by contacting local resources like a city hall or Chamber of Commerce to find out about any future plans for the area such as building more homes (if a new development) that may change the feeling of the neighborhood, increase traffic, and in return, increase taxes.

Observe the conditions of the houses, yards, and streets. Look for any signs of vandalism or other deterrents like bars on windows. Especially if you have children, do your research on crime statistics in your neighborhood, whether it’s online (which can be limited,) or by calling the local police department. Lastly, don’t forget to observe traffic speeds too, and the noise level and traffic flow of the street. 

Can it Meet Your Family’s Needs?

When searching for the perfect neighborhood, it is also vital to consider your needs and your family’s. Only you know your and your family’s needs, and you must keep in mind what makes a neighborhood special to you, and what makes it a place you would want to grow and rest in! Questions you could ask yourself are:

  • Are you in pretty close proximity to grocery stores, shops, or restaurants?
  • Is the commute time to your place of work reasonable? (Distance and time both matter! Try doing a test run and seeing how long it would take you at peak times.)
  • Are there any nearby parks or activities for yourself and your children? (Bike paths, hiking trails, playgrounds, state of national parks.)
  • If using a school, is it a reasonable distance from the home? 
  • Are there many trees for shade and coziness, or sidewalks for easy strolls and bike rides? 
  • Is it an older neighborhood with variety and character, or a newer development with a lot more homes and less space and privacy between houses?

Let’s Get Searching!

Our realtors with 316 Realty Group are focused on our client's needs and understand the concern about finding the perfect neighborhood that fits your family. With local insight and knowledge of the area, we are here for you to guide you through the process of searching and finding a home and neighborhood that checks off all of your boxes. Reach out to us today and let’s begin the search together!