Buying a home is both an exciting and intimidating step. Nonetheless, opting for real estate is a process one will never forget. While achieving new real estate may be important for you, equally as important is ensuring you’re protected when purchasing a new home, warns John Forest of Bighorn Rentals, as things can potentially go sour if you sign the paperwork before making a rational, long-thought-out decision.
When considering real estate, make sure you check that the following things are in order before formally making up your mind:
- Closing costs
In your real estate contract, there should be an explanation regarding who (the buyer or seller) pays for real estate fees such as title search fees, escrow fees, transfer tax, and so on. Many of these closing costs can be negotiated. If you’re interested in negotiating these costs, speak with your real estate agent and lender to see if you can attempt to do so.
- Casualty loss
In the event that there is unexpected damage or loss to or on your property, casualty loss, a type of tax loss, can help protect you by providing you a deduction. Ensuring casualty loss is part of your real estate contract can help you avoid prospective non-wear and tear-related issues to your new home.
- Homeowners association requirements
Purchasing a home in a subdivision where homeowners association (HOA) is present? Make sure to check the relevant section of your real estate contract to see how much your HOA fees will be and how often they must be paid (e.g., monthly, quarterly, annually), so that there are no surprises for you later down the road.
- Health risks and defects
You deserve to know if there are any risks or defects associated with your home, such as the use of lead-based paint or the presence of mold, for instance. You should have a home inspection completed and the inspection report looked over prior to agreeing to buy any property, no matter how old or new it is.
- Home inspection contingency
A home inspection contingency, which is required in most states as part of a real estate contract, is important in that it allows prospective homeowners to cancel the purchase or negotiate home repairs if they aren’t happy with the home inspection report. In fact, 70 percent of homeowners found that a home inspection helped them steer clear of potential problems.
- All agreements in writing
Making sure all agreements between you and the seller are in writing before signing any paperwork is important to guarantee any vital negotiations or circumstances you have agreed upon. If it’s not in writing, it’s not an obligation.
- An attorney
Buying/purchasing a home, you may not think you’ll need an attorney, but having one on hand can ensure the deal goes through. An attorney can also prepare a home purchase contract and perform a title search. If you have yet to hire an attorney, make sure you have one before signing paperwork.
While you may be eager to sign a real estate contract, make sure the above things are in order before signing. The important thing to remember is that once you ink that contract, you can’t take it back. For that reason, being careful about your final decision will be crucial as purchasing real estate isn’t just about obtaining a new home but also ensuring there aren’t any surprises.