The home-buying process is full of decisions. House or condo? New construction or existing home? If you decide on a newly built home, there is a whole new set of decisions to be made.
But before you hop in the car to visit new Southern Maryland home communities, there are a few things you should do to protect yourself during the purchase process. Lay your foundation properly, and you’ll make it to closing with nary a hitch.
Get clear on your finances
If you don’t know how much you can afford to spend on a house, you’re at the mercy of the builder and/or his lender. Buying a home may be the biggest financial decision of your life, so you owe it to yourself to begin the process with as much knowledge as possible.
Before you look at any homes – any home – see a lender. Find out how much you can spend, and then stick to that price range when you go house shopping.
Before you make a final commitment, compare lender quotes. Sometimes the builder’s preferred lender offers the best deal, but not always. Get the cost of each loan from every lender you speak to.
To learn more about how to shop for a mortgage, visit the Federal Trade Commission website.
Choose a community
Not all Southern Maryland new home communities are the same. Many are managed by homeowners associations, which take on some of the outdoor maintenance chores like snow removal. (HOAs also come with an added monthly fee, so consider that fee when you budget.)
Make a list of features you desire in a new community. Some of the criteria you may choose include:
- Proximity to schools
- Outdoor recreational opportunities
- An area with lots of children — or not
- Your commute time to work
Once you know your budget and what you’re looking for in a neighborhood, it’s easier to narrow down where to shop.
Research the builder
There are many ways to check out a builder, but a good place to start is the Better Business Bureau. Check for complaints against the builder and the company.
Here are some other ways to research a Southern Maryland builder:
- Ask your agent what he/she knows about the builder and the homes he/she builds
- Visit another community the builder has developed. Talk with residents and find out whether there are any common problems with the homes.
Now, when you visit these communities, you’ll probably be greeted by a real estate agent. If you find a home you like there, it’s natural to assume that you can streamline the process by using this agent for your purchase.
That’s not a wise decision, and here’s why: That agent represents the builder. And just as you wouldn’t dream of hiring your soon-to-be-former spouse’s attorney in divorce proceedings, you should never use the builder’s agent in a new-home purchase.
Buyer’s representation from a real estate agent costs you nothing. The seller – in this case, the builder – pays all real estate feed. There is really no reason not to hire your own representation for such a major investment.
Be sure to ask the builder for a walk-through of the process of buying a new Southern Maryland home. You’ll want to know the schedule, find out how many inspections will be performed, and get a features list.
Arm yourself with as much information as possible, and the process will go smoothly.
Fort Washington MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309
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