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Questions to Ask When Buying a Home

When shopping for a home, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and overlook flaws or forget to consider important questions. One of the smartest things you can do is play it cool when you visit properties, and keep these questions in mind when you see a new potential home. Moving is a huge deal, and buying a home in Omaha is an exciting experience—just be sure you are doing it for all the right reasons.

Would you sell this home in the next three years? Homeowners sometimes buy properties because the price seems good, even if it isn’t what they are really looking for. If a home is not meant for you, why go down this road? You shouldn’t be looking to buy a home with the sole idea of reselling it, you should find a home that fits what you want now and save the extra efforts of hoping to sell it and trade up to something better.

What is the most efficient way to buy a new home? With a team of experts! You need a realtor, inspector, mortgage broker, and a lawyer working for you. Each of these professionals has their own expertise and they can move their individual processes along to help you sign a deal quickly and cleanly. Brokers also often have access to unlisted private properties that might be exactly what you are looking for—so it helps to enlist a realtor to help with the hunt.

So how to choose a realtor? Find someone who sells homes in the neighborhood you want to be in, they will be the most knowledgeable about the area. Test their honesty and their negotiation skills so that they can prove their abilities to you.

What expenses are really involved in buying a new home? You need to consider closing costs—which will cover the attorneys, contracts, paperwork, and other miscellaneous fees, which generally amount to 5-7 percent of the sale price. Have your lawyer perform contract work rather than the bank to avoid potential up charges and additional fees. Remember to pull your credit reports and dispute everything that is a blemish.

Have you adequately prepared your finances to buy? Set aside 3-6 months of money to cover living expenses (mortgage and bills) because lenders want to see that you have a reserve saved to cover mortgage payments and other expenses in the face of losing your job or some other disaster.

Should you buy new construction or plan to renovate? This depends on your individual budget. Most people like newer homes, but if you are a drawn to a property that requires some sprucing up and renovations, then it might be an enjoyable project to take on. Keep in mind the inconvenience of renovating and the areas of your home that will be unavailable during this time.