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Buying a Home in 2015? 5 Tips to Shop Smarter

Posted by Jeff Sallan on Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 3:19pm.

If you’re planning to purchase a home in the Reno area in 2015, you may want to consider some tips to make the process as simple as possible. Home values are increasing, but there are still deals to be had. With new construction  picking up again and temperatures warming up as we head into spring, home sales are going to increase. Want to shop smarter for your home purchase? Consider the following:

1. Take Notes. If you’re looking at more than a couple houses, it may be worthwhile to take detailed notes about each property you see and take a few pictures. When you’re looking at homes, it’s easy to confuse or forget features. Some buyers create a pros and cons list for each property they see. Others create a check list of “must-haves” to bring to each home.

2. Research Your Potential Neighborhood. Yes, driving through the neighborhood at different times of the day and night is encouraged to get a better feel of the neighborhood. Potential buyers should also look for these signs that the neighborhood is thriving: listed homes aren’t on the market very long or are receiving multiple offers, schools are in high demand, and commercial properties nearby are occupied or are leasing quickly.

3. Get Your Finances in Order. Unless you’re paying cash for your next home purchase, you should make sure you have enough for a down payment, closing costs and any immediate home repairs or updates. Before beginning your home search, work with a mortgage professional to see how much home you can afford. After you’re in contract, DO NOT make any large purchases like a new vehicle or get new credit cards. Your lender will likely check your credit score just before the loan closes and your score should be comparable to the first check at the beginning of the process.

4. Do the Math. Interest rates are very low right now. This may allow you to increase your maximum budget. Work with a mortgage professional and be completely honest about how much you’re willing and able to spend.

5. Work With an Agent You Trust. Not all agents are experienced in all areas. Ask friends or family for recommendations. Read up on agents you’re interested in working with. Experienced agents should be able to provide you with references. You also want to make sure your agent is familiar with the neighborhoods you’re interested in and the type of home you’d like.

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