Montana Real Estate 101

Congratulations! You have decided to purchase a home. This is truly a monumental choice. Purchasing a home marks a major milestone in your life and a defining characteristic of the American Dream. Even though you feel excitement at the prospect of homeownership you surely also feel a twinge of apprehension. To quell some of your fears, questions and self doubts here are some tips to assist you on your road to owning your own home.

The following advice will shed light on this new adventure. It's not everyday that you look for and purchase a new home. These tips will give you some guidance to move you along.

  1. Define what you want.
    The next step is to create a realistic idea of the property you'd like to buy. What features are most important to you? Make two lists: one of the items you can't live without and one of the features you would enjoy. Refine the lists as you house hunt. It is also helpful to search online to see what is currently available on the market. At National Parks Realty we have an easy to navigate site that will allow you to view many sides of a property in order to get a good idea of what the property has to offer.
  2. Prequalify for a loan.
    Your second step should be to get prequalified, which determines how much you can afford. It allows you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and really can afford to buy their property.
  3. Hire a real estate professional.
    The third step is to choose a professional to help you find your dream home and fine-tune your financial expectations. Working with a real estate agent is worth consideration since he or she is legally responsible for representing the buyer's interest in a real estate transaction.
  4. Visit properties.
    Now you're ready to visit houses. Ask your real estate agent to arrange showings, and keep track of the properties you've seen. Taking a digital camera and comparing properties after you've seen them is a good idea and will help you make your decision.
  5. Know the features that help or hurt resale.
    In some areas, a swimming pool actually detracts from a home's value and makes it harder to sell. In neighborhoods with two-car, attached garages, a single-car or detached garage may impact the home sale and future value. Your real estate professional can point out features that hurt or help resale value in the area you are looking at.
  6. Rate the houses you tour.
    After touring each home, write down what you liked and didn't like. Develop a rating system that will help narrow the field down. For example, pick the house you like best on day one and compare all other houses to it. When you find a better one, use the new favorite as the standard.
  7. Make an offer.
    Once you've pinpointed your dream house, it's time to get serious about the financial and contractual side of the purchase. Your real estate agent will be a great person to talk to since he/she knows what you're main goals are and can make suggestions to help you get the property you want.
  8. Arrange for a home inspection.
    After your offer is accepted, set up a home inspection. It's common to find problems, including leaky roofs, cracked walls, insect infestations and foundation problems. Your real estate professional can help find a reputable inspector, and will negotiate to get you the most for your money once the inspector's report is final. If you negotiate repairs as part of the purchase, ask for a "walk through" before finalizing the paperwork. Ask your real estate professional about home protection plans, which may save you money in the near future.
  9. Close.
    Before your closing date, make sure you've made all necessary deposits and completed the paperwork - including mortgage, title, homeowners insurance and any other paperwork required by local or state governments.
  10. Prepare for life in your new home.
    Before rolling out the welcome mat, consider some moving basics: arranging for an alarm company, turning on electricity, water and gas, cleaning or replacing the carpet, and notifying your local post office of your new address. The best time for renovations is often before you move in.
  11. Moving Day!
    Congratulations on your new home. We at National Parks Realty are proud that we could assist you in achieving your dreams.

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