Looking to buy property in Northern Nevada?
Here are my top 5 tips to help buyers avoid common problems and invest wisely…
Narrow down what you want and do your research.
Beyond the obvious factors (location, amenities, etc.) I believe that finding a home to fit your lifestyle is one of the most important factors in finding the “perfect” home. You can start in my lifestyle properties section to find all current listings under each category. If you decide that “lifestyle” isn’t the way you would like to search, this site also features an MLS search tool, and current listings for every area of Northern Nevada. Do some digging on your own beforehand and look for areas, communities and/or homes that you like. Cross-reference them to narrow down which areas you are most interested in. This can be very helpful as a place to start if you choose to use a buyer’s agent in your search.
Use a buyer’s agent…it won’t cost you anything!
A buyer’s agent works with buyers to find and show homes that fit their specifications, and represents them when it comes time to move forward with a purchase. No website can take the place of working one-on-one with a real estate agent. The best part? Hiring a buyer’s agent doesn’t cost you anything – commission is paid by the seller! A good buyer’s agent knows the in’s & out’s of their area, and how the real estate process works from top to bottom. They know what to look for, what to watch out for and can help catch things that most would miss. It’s what they do every day and it will help you streamline the process and avoid headaches down the road. When you are ready, I hope you contact me, because nothing replaces having a dedicated agent there to help you find the property that fits.
Know what you can afford and get pre-approved.
Once you have found a lifestyle that fits, the limiting factor is usually PRICE. When you are serious about buying, you need to know what you can actually afford. Often times a letter of pre-qualification for a loan or a “proof of funds letter” must be submitted with an offer. Inventory is small these days in most home categories, except for luxury homes, but even in those if a home is priced right and is highly desirable competition can be very strong and preparation is key. Visiting a lender to start a qualification process is wise. It doesn’t cost anything and there is no obligation. You will find out if you need to do anything to prequalify and what you can afford before getting into the bidding process. I can provide references for trusted lenders if you email me. Even if you are a cash buyer it is important to have the cash on hand in an account for a few months prior to an offer; banking and escrow laws are quite strict and can torpedo a purchase.
Beware of the unexpected costs.
Inspections, property taxes, appraisals, mortgage insurance, escrow fees and origination fees are most of the additional costs of purchasing a home, but there can be others. These extra fees can be calculated on your own but it can be a daunting task. This is another good reason to go through a buyer’s agent. They know and understand these costs well.
- Origination fee: On a $200,000 mortgage for a $250,000 home, assuming 3.5% interest and no points, you’d pay the lender about $1,800.
- Home inspection: Even if the mortgage insurer doesn’t require one, get one for peace of mind.
- Property taxes: You’ll usually pay a few months upfront.
- Appraisal: The bank will need to determine how much the place is really worth.
- Private mortgage insurance, or PMI: This depends on your down payment and credit rating.
- Escrow fees: The charges made by the title/escrow company for processing the transaction.
On that $250,000 home… allow an extra $5,000 or more on top of the sale price.
Seek an area that’s on the “up-and-up.”
Smart real estate investors have made boat-loads of cash by paying attention to trends. You may not be trying to break into the dog eat dog world of real estate investment, but ensuring that your new home is in an area that is experiencing positive growth and rising property values is a good way to make sure that your big investment turns into profit if you decide to sell later on down the road. Northern Nevada is a prime example of an area that fits this mold. We have new and resurgent business centers, have added multiple major employers, an influx of young people doing big things and are expanding rapidly. Invest wisely.