6 Questions Every Homebuyer Should Ask Before Buying A Home

The Savvy Synopsis

Are you thinking about buying a home? How should you prepare ahead of time? Some of these questions may set you on the right path to finding the home for you.

Do you wonder what you should know before buying a home? Asking (and answering) these questions will guide you through the major decision of buying a home and finding the right one for you.

Most buyers have no idea what their credit number needs to be in order to buy a home. Have a lender run your credit now to get guidance on how well you’re doing and ways to improve your score if needed.

Depending on your family size and needs, you have a different timeline in mind for how long you’ll want to stay in it. Consider your future--be it new family members or a new job--and how that might impact your needs down the line.

When asking about costs, think past the down payment! Can you afford the hidden costs like closing fees, inspection costs, moving expenses, and furniture costs that are also needed?

Does your search include your dream home or simply your next home? What’s the difference? How can you align your expectations accordingly? Regardless, remember that no home is perfect.

What is guiding your homebuying decisions--emotions or logic? Which is more important to follow? Try to think of this as not only a sentimental place to live, but also a business plan when you make such a big purchase.

Finally, ask who is the best real estate agent for you? Make sure your personalities match and you enjoy being around them, because you’ll be working with them closely (and sometimes for a long time) on a major decision in your life!

0:56 - Have I checked my credit?  

2:23 - How long do I plan to live in this home?

3:54 - Can I afford the costs of fees (beyond the down payment)?

5:28 - Are you looking for your dream home or next home?

8:06 - Are you making choices based on emotion or logic?

9:59 - Ask, who is the best real estate agent for you to work with?

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The Host:

Angie Cole - Contact - Call: 919-538-6477

Show Transcription:

Note: This is an automated transcription. Please forgive the robots as they tend to make some (a lot of) mistakes...

Speaker 1: (00:02)
It's time for the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter Storholt alongside Angie Cole, the owner and broker in charge of a cole Realty serving you throughout the triangle, teaching you about the ins and outs when it comes to buying or selling a home. You can find the team online by going to eight Cole realty.com that's a C O L E realty.com or by calling (919) 578-3128 that's (919) 578-3128 and now it's time for one of the top real tours in the triangle. Angie Cole and the savvy real tour podcast. Well, Angie, I wanted to spend a couple of minutes on today's show talking about some buyers and questions that they should ask before they buy their next home and these are questions they should ask themselves. I want you to tell us why these are important questions people should be asking and then also how you help them find the answers if they don't know it off the top of their head. First on the list is have I checked my credit? You talked a little bit about this in the first segment of the show today about credit and mortgage questions and that kind of thing. But honestly, this is a first starting point for a lot of buyers.

Speaker 2: (01:07)
Yeah, most definitely. Um, you know, but as far as you know, checking your credit to see where it's at. Most general public, you know, or potential buyers, they have no idea where that number needs to be in order to make sure that they're in a position to buy a home. And remember, whenever it comes to looking at credit scores, a lender is going to take the middle score. Now it's not the average, but it's just the middle score. So say you have a 500 a 600 and then at 800 the lender will take the 600 score. So again is the middle score. But if you're wondering where your credit lies, go ahead and speak with a lender now to have them run it. Because if you're not where you need to be in order to qualify for a loan or the type of loan program that you prefer or that would be best suited for you, they can give you guidance on what you need to do to increase that credit score. So instead of running it on your own in some sense or double checking it, just go ahead and speak with a lender and get that extra guidance and direction to improve your credit score. Like I said, if needed.

Speaker 1: (02:11)
Yeah, go ahead and kind of get it from the horses mouth in a way to so to speak. So yeah, have you checked your credit? And that's a good question to ask, but do it with a lender and you kinda just saved yourself some steps in the process. Another question to ask yourself, if you're looking to buy a home, how long do I plan to live in this home? Why would that be important for somebody to kind of be thinking in advance that way?

Speaker 2: (02:32)
Most definitely. Um, well first of all, you know, our, our familial status is, can quickly change, right? Maybe a first you bar buying the home as an individual, a single person, you know, are you planning on being in that home forever? Because if you are, do you ever plan on maybe getting married one day, having children have an animals, you know, how will you grow into that home? You know also maybe you are buying the home and your children are about to go off to college. You know, maybe that large home is not needed anymore. So how long do you plan on staying in that home for? Will you eventually want to downsize? So you know, on average they say that most people stay in their home for about five to seven years. And there's so many times people say, this is our forever home only for them to call us back two years later and say they want to move again. So on average again, five to seven years is what we typically see that a buyer will stay in their home. So just think about, you know, what your plans are for the future. Maybe there's a job promotion that's coming up that you might want to take. Maybe that job promotion means that you're moving to a different state, so yes, there's definitely things to be thinking about as far as how long you plan on living in the home.

Speaker 1: (03:44)
That's a really good question to ask yourself. Just kind of think forward a little bit. It doesn't necessarily mean life's going to play out exactly how you're planning or thinking, but you can at least be prepared for some of those moving pieces. Angie, another great question. Someone should ask themselves as they're getting ready to move. By the way, if you're just joining us, you're listening to the savvy real tour radio show with Angie Cole. We're talking about some of these questions you should ask yourself before you buy a home. Ask yourself, can I afford the costs of fees beyond the down payment? Things like closing costs and moving expenses. It's a little bit more expensive to move than just the cost of the home.

Speaker 2: (04:17)
Most definitely when buying a home, whether you're paying cash or you are financing a home, there's always closing costs that are attached to that. There can be attorney fees, there can be lender fees, taxes, prorations your home and insurance, you know prorations. So make sure that above and beyond the down payment you have the funds needed for actual closing to take place and the best way to go about that is you can get a good faith estimate from the lender that you're working with. To give you the rundown on this is the price point of behind your purchasing. This is the amount of down payment that we said you need in order to buy this home and these are the amount of closing costs you will need to close on this home. Remember, not all loans require down payment. Also, there are ways to negotiate where the seller can pay for your closing costs as well. I would say that the market that we're in right now that's not as common, but it definitely can be done and so there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to purchasing a home. Also, you know, what will your moving expenses look like? Do you need a moving truck? Do you plan to buy new furniture? So, you know, buying a home is not just a down payment. There is definitely more beyond that.

Speaker 1: (05:27)
All great questions so far. Here's another one. And you kind of use this buzzword already, Angie, dream home. Ask yourself, are you looking for your dream home or just your, you know, next toe. What are those difference mean to most folks? Angie?

Speaker 2: (05:41)
Yeah, you know, I would say a dream home has every potential, you know, upgrade bells and whistles. Just everything is perfect. What you've always visualize, you know, that perfect home would look like, you know, we're in next time. Might be more of a stepping stone for you. So I would say a dream home is, this is exactly what I want. I will be in this home forever. It's my final home. I would say a next home is more of, you know, this home works perfect for me in this moment, maybe for the next three to five years. But then from there, you know what, maybe I plan to downsize. Maybe I plan to upscale. So, you know, I would say those are really the differences between your dream home and your next home. You know, I feel like most people though, when they buy a home, they really look at it as their dream home.

Speaker 2: (06:29)
I wouldn't say that, you know, many people buy home to saying, Hey, this is just a stepping stone. I can give a little bit here. It's okay if it doesn't have this. I think most people are searching for that dream home. But remember too, there's probably never going to be a home that's perfect for you. There's not, there's going to be one thing that you want to change. So just, you know, open your eyes a little bit and understand that it's not going to be perfect. But focus on what's most important to you. Maybe make a list of, you know, these are my must has and these are my wants. Now. If I don't get all of my wants, that's okay, but let's try to get most of our must haves.

Speaker 1: (07:08)
I know for us we were uh, on our most recent purchase, we were kind of looking at it from a standpoint of, you know, the first home we knew wasn't the dream home, but it kind of ties back in very easily to that conversation of how long do you plan to live here? And so we kind of knew that we weren't planning to live there forever. So resale value was very important to us and it really dictated not only the purchase but also then the upgrades that we did make in the home. Whereas now we kind of consider our home a little bit more in the realm of our dream home. And so, you know, we're making upgrades and doing some choices that it's like, well, we're not really worried about resale value here. We're living in it. We'll worry about that later. You know?

Speaker 1: (07:47)
So you did have that kind of transaction where you had kind of more of a next home and then now your dream home dream home, or at least the home that has the potential for us to live here for 2030 or more years. Obviously life will throw you curve balls from time to time and you never know if that's going to be the actual plan, but at least the potential was there. So we were making our plans and choices from that perspective. Another great question. Ask yourself, are you making choices? Speaking of choices based on emotion or logic and trying to, I guess, be in touch with how you usually make decisions and then if things get thrown out of whack when you go through the home buying process, that's a tough one, right?

Speaker 2: (08:21)
Yeah. You know, as far as emotion, you know, we want the home that you're buying. We want you to be emotionally tied into it. We want you to love it, right? We want you to, you know, we don't want it to just be a house. We really truly want it to be a home. But make sure that when you ever, you are going throughout the process and there's decisions to be made. We're negotiating, you know, just go in throughout the process. Try to use logic as well. You know, sometimes you need to step back, take a moment and just, you know, look at it as also a business, right? It's a, a business in a sense. And try not to be too, too emotionally involved. And I say the same thing on the flip side to sellers. I know to sellers, I mean this is your pride and joy. There's a lot of sweat equity put into this home. There's a lot of memories, but we need to try to take that emotion out of it and we need to handle this. Like we're running a business when it comes to selling your home.

Speaker 1: (09:14)
Yeah, that's a great point. I think it goes both ways too, because you don't want it to all just be very like robotic and you don't want to go too far the other direction either. You know, it's okay to have some emotions and there you should be targeted for that home.

Speaker 2: (09:26)
Oh yeah, no, no, no. We want you to absolutely love your home, you know, and just, you know, super, super excited but also don't drive yourself crazy with being too just emotional about it. Cause you know, unfortunately some things there can be hiccups. Things can change, you know, remember working with someone else on the opposite side who's kind of at the complete opposite side of the spectrum I would say. And so it can be a little bit of a roller coaster when you go on throughout the process of buying or selling a home. So just try to simmer back a little bit sometimes.

Speaker 1: (09:56)
Yes, yes, absolutely. Very good advice. Last but not least, Angie, and this is a good one, but the wording is what's important to hear. Maybe the emphasis in the part of the sentence is what's important. Ask yourself, who is the best real estate agent for me, for you, for you to work with? Who's going to be the best real estate agent? So we don't just end that sentence. Angie, who's the best agent? Who's the best agent for you?

Speaker 2: (10:21)
I mean, I want to say a cold Realty, but um, you set me up for that one. No. Um, make sure that whenever you are deciding on an agent, you choose someone who, to me, it's really important that your personalities match. Remember that you will be so-called married to that person for quite a while. I would say at minimum 30 days if not 60 90 I've, we've had clients we've worked with for three years before they end up buying a home. So it makes sure that it's someone you enjoy conversation with, you know you can be around 'em and they're just, they're a good time. Then from there make sure that you are choosing an agent who is knowledgeable, who understands the market, understands the process, who can always stay like we like we like to say about our team is one step ahead throughout the process to make sure you're getting that guidance and that direction that you need.

Speaker 2: (11:10)
And then someone who can just really just sum it up and close that deal. Right? You want someone who can negotiate on your behalf. They will either, you know, I know we're kind of talking about more buying right now, but they can negotiate the best deal for you and then someone who's really being your advocate and looking out for your best interests. So you know, you need to find that good fit because having the wrong agent can really can, it can kill a deal. You can lose a home you want because you have the wrong agent not looking out for you in your best interest.

Speaker 1: (11:38)
You've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter store Holt alongside Angie Cole. She's the owner and broker in charge of Aiko Realty here in the triangle. And if you have questions for Angie, we invite you to go online to a Cole realty.com listen to past podcast episodes on the website, read the blog and all the great information, including the option to find a home right there on the website. That's a Cole realty.com and you can also call Angie with your questions. (919) 578-3128 

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