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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Blanton, Realtor

11 Things I’ve learned helping people buy homes in Navarro County.

1) A lot of people have credit issues! Seriously, if bad credit is your only obstacle you’re gonna be ok, I promise you. You can fix bad credit, you just need to talk to the right people to show you what you need to do, what you need to pay off/down and what things can be disputed off and also tricks to helping you raise your score without paying everything down/off.

2) Before you start really really shopping for a home, you gotta talk to the bank/a lender about getting approved for a home loan. If not how are you going to know things like... what you qualify for, how much your down payment is going to be, if you qualify for any type of down payment assistance programs and also what your monthly payment will be depending on the purchase price.

3) ALWAYS do inspections, as many as you can afford if necessary... the price you pay for inspections will always be cheaper than not doing them and then running into a huge problem once you get into the home. Things like foundation, plumbing, roof and the AC can be be costly to replace... so you gotta know what you’re getting yourself into before moving forward with the purchase.

4) Speaking of Inspections...don’t let them scare you either!!! So many times we have buyers who see an inspection report on a home and want to run for the hills! Guess what...even brand new homes will have items on an inspection report, so before you freak out talk to your Inspectors and Realtor to find out what items are a cause for concern and what items are normal owner maintenance. Also know that once inspections are complete it’s your chance to renegotiate the deal for either the repairs to be made, a credit for repairs or a price reduction.

5) Every home and every buyer are different... the experience your best friend, coworker, family member or dude you see at all the time at HEB might be different than your experience. So just because one person you know had an awesome/horrible experience doesn’t mean you’ll go through the same... it’s all about the team/people you work with that will ultimately determine if your home buying experience is a dream come true... or a nightmare. Don’t let that scare or stop you... the success stories far out number the train wrecks.

6) Know your budget! Just because you get approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. You know what we call that...”House Poor”. When you’ve maxed out your budget on your home and you’re now in a situation where your home is starting to sink you and you’ll start to drown. Before buying a home you really need to figure out what you should be spending. Us along with our lending team will help you.

7) Not all Realtors are created equal...yes we are all required to take the same courses to achieve our license... but that’s just the beginning. Getting your real estate license is like buying a pair of running shoes... it’s just the start, some out there don’t have a lotta miles on those shoes and might not be able to help you the way someone with marathons under their belt can. This is not saying new agents aren’t going to be able to help you...but before you decide on who is going to work with, make sure that Realtor is ready to lace up and go the extra mile for you. *Ok enough running metaphors 😂

8) ASK QUESTIONS!!! The biggest mistake I see home buyers make on a daily basis is that they don’t ask enough questions!!! Buying a home IS A HUGE DEAL, so there’s nothing wrong with making sure you understand every single aspect... now is not the time to stay quiet and just wait till the end of the transaction to speak up. Once get things get moving it can feel like the entire process speeds by... so before it’s too late, SPEAK UP!

9) There are 3 things you need when buying a home...Down Payment, Closing Cost and Money for Inspections/Earnest. The seller can’t help you with your down payment but they can help you with your closing cost! So if we negotiate your closing cost within the deal... that’s less money you’ll have to bring to the table come closing time. Also that can be money available to pay for the much needed inspections and earnest( good faith or deposit) you’ll need to so things can get official.

10) Don’t let HGTV fool you, yes it seems like most people can completely remodel a home within 30 minutes but in the real world... make sure you’re fully prepared when it comes to “fixer uppers” and the amount of real work it’s gonna take to get it the way you want... Remember this isn’t Reality TV, this is your home!

Last one...

11) Buying a home might not be for you...maybe you shouldn’t even buy a home, maybe your money is better well spent somewhere else? So don’t feel pressured that you HAVE TO buy a home because your friends, family, coworker or some random ex radio guy who’s on TV told you so on Facebook... the first step in the home buying process is always informational, so hopefully the above tips help you in some way and hopefully you learned something, but if not and you think being a home owner isn’t for me and we can see about other options!

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