Be realistic about how much you can spend.
Save yourself a lot of time by planning out a budget first. The first thing you need to consider is how much can you afford to spend each month on mortgage, taxes and insurance on your new home. Talk to your bank about a pre approval letter for new home loan so you know exactly what you can spend. Look at the homes in the range you can afford and maybe less. Doing the research yourself will make you more knowledgeable about the market, which is key to making a good purchase.
Online resources and Realtors
Before you get your heart set on a home, call the Realtor on that listing and make sure the information is good. Ask about the roof, mold, or any other problems that could be there. A Realtor is a great asset to have when searching for a home and as a buyer you do not pay a commission fee. Also check your counties appraisal website and put in the address. It will give you the taxes that were owed the year before and may offer some updates for the current year.
What is the neighborhood like?
If you have had problems with neighbors while renting, that option is you can make a complaint to a landlord, or negotiate your contract and move. Do your homework ahead of time about the location of your new home. It may be beautiful, have the pool you want, and a dream size backyard, but what is the good of that if your up until 3 am because of noisy neighbors. Take a drive out around dinner hour and again maybe later in the evening. Ask others if they know about the neighborhood, break-ins, noise, family oriented, etc.
The Mortgage Company
People tend to go with large, well-known mortgage companies, and that’s fine. Check out the smaller, regional companies as well and see if they can offer you better rates than the big companies.
Always, Always have a home inspection
This is not the same as an appraisal of your home. The appraisal is the value of the home. The home inspection makes sure your home is safe and basically if there are repairs needed. Your basic Home Owners Policy may cover the dwelling, personal property, liability in case someone gets injured, and storm damage. It will not cover a pre-existing condition such as mold. Make sure you walk through the home with the home inspector and do your homework for what to look out for.
If the home has termites, you will have to consider the amount of money it will take to get the home tented. If the plumbing has to be replaced, a new air conditioner, etc, it will be your responsibility to fix or replace things once the home is purchased. Your home inspector is there to be sure the home is up to your counties code system, so be sure to find out what the county code for homes are in your area.