Best of Luck in Home Buying

Clover Leaves

Dear Vicki,

I’m just starting the hunt for a new home and I’m going to need more than the Luck of the Irish to help me. How can I increase my chances of landing the home of my dreams? Signed – Seamus

Dear Seamus,

It definitely takes more than blarney to seal the deal on your perfect house. I have two solid pieces of advice for buyers when starting the search for that elusive pot of gold. My first tip, and your first stop, should be at your lender’s doorstep. Get a pre-approval letter in-hand before you start looking at homes. It’s best to know how much house you can afford at the onset. Having champagne dreams on an Irish whiskey budget will not only waste your time but is sure to lead to disappointment. Find out how much you have to spend and remain pragmatic. Your lender will also help you understand the down payment programs available for the different types of loans out there. It’s wonderful to have options, and in home-buying, knowledge is power.

My second tip is not as self-serving as it sounds, hear me out. I definitely recommend that you have your own buyer’s agent. Sellers have agents and so should you. Your agent will help you set realistic expectations for what you can afford. And when that perfect house comes along, they’ll know how to react as quickly as a leprechaun. Your agent knows the comparable sale prices in your desired neighborhoods and will help you establish the most competitive, yet reasonable price offer. I often see buyers without agents lose homes because of silly low-ball offers, and I feel for them. On the flip side- I’ve also seen buyers without agents significantly overpay- ouch!  Once you have a home under contract, your buyer’s agent will assist you with the inspection process and help negotiate repairs. Your agent will also keep on top of your lender to close your loan in a timely manner. When making the largest purchase of your life, having a professional on your side is just plain cliste (that’s Gaelic for smart!).

What do you get when you cross poison ivy with a four-leafed clover? A rash of good luck! I wish you the best of luck in your home buying adventure- without the rash, of course. Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

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