House Hunting in 2021

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Buying a house is no small feat, but in 2021, it’s nearly impossible to navigate with the housing market being so hot. I want to share my experience, tips in the buying process, and one of my deal breakers for a home. 

My significant other and I planned on starting our search slightly before the spring market. We thought that February 2021 would be an excellent time to begin our process. Funny enough, this coincided with the market becoming hot in our area. 

First, we found a realtor to help us on our journey. We are lucky enough to know a realtor in our region who recommended a fantastic realtor in the specific area we are looking for houses. Our realtor was able to walk us through what the market looks like, what to expect, and the next steps for getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Finding a knowledgeable realtor is an essential step in beginning your house buying journey. They will be able to help you navigate the market, understand potential issues with homes you are seeing, and making your offer on the house very attractive. 

Because of covid, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is encouraged and, in some cases, required before going to look at houses. Many sellers need to see pre-approvals before allowing people into their homes. We got pre-approved through a mortgage company that our realtor suggested. In the long run, this helps the process run smoother, and we luckily got a great rate from them. I have heard lots of advice about shopping around for mortgage rates at different banks, credit unions, and other mortgage lenders. We choose to stay with the lender our realtor suggested because we got a great rate, and the process of closing on a house we choose to get will run smoother since our realtor has worked with our lender many times, and they are super reliable. 

Once we were approved, we searched for houses for our realtor to show us! We were originally using realtor.com and Zillow to search for homes. We use realtor.com because we have heard they have very accurate listings. I like Zillow because you can see house cost history, and for duplexes, you can see what rent could be for a unit. 

Unfortunately, the market has been hot, and we have put in offers on houses that weren’t accepted. When it’s time to put an offer in, I recommend thoroughly looking over the disclosure agreement. The disclosure agreement is something that the seller fills out about the house. Your realtor should provide you with the disclosure agreement. Anything that has happened to the house, like a water leak or electrical issues, would be noted on this disclosure agreement. This will help you navigate potential costs you may face in the near or far future. For example, if the roof is 20 years old and isn’t a long-lasting type of roof like a metal roof, you might need to factor in replacing a roof in the first 5-10 years of owning the home. Factoring these costs in when making an offer is essential, and you will need to make sure you can handle these additional costs down the road. 

With a good realtor, putting in an offer should be relatively easy. They will talk you through the process and prep the paperwork for you to sign. My biggest advice is knowing your budget, not getting into a bidding war you can’t afford, and not paying for a house that costs anywhere outside of your means. Don’t let anyone talk you into bidding more money than you have or an amount that’s out of your means. I know it can be tempting, and you will want the house so bad but, if you don’t get the house, it’s not meant to be. You will get a home when it is meant to be, and it fits into your budget. 

When looking for houses and figuring out what you like and don’t like, it’s important to know or learn your deal breakers. What are the things you cannot live with or without? 

For me, a healthy home that is free of water leaks and mold is crucial. I am incredibly sensitive to mold and do not want to buy a house that could already have a water leak and mold issues. We have seen some beautiful homes that we know we cannot buy once we get to the basement. Basements can hold moisture and water, which could lead to mold. I am a stickler for checking for how well the basement is cared for in a home. Once we find a house we love, I will be a stickler for getting the house tested for mold and then potentially treated for mold. 

Companies like Nash Everett are experts when it comes to identifying and removing mold in your home. What I like about Nash Everett is that their approach to eliminating molds. They have a remediation approach and clarify that not all mold remediation/ removal are created equal. They go the extra mile and take removing mold very seriously. They also note that any company you use for mold remediation should have certifications, licensing, and insurance. It’s crucial to find a company and a contractor that you trust! It has to do with the health of your home, after all! Not only does Nash Everett has services in New Jersey, but they also have mold removal in Durham PA

Buying a home can be a daunting task, and it will be the biggest purchase of your life! Don’t rush it! Take your time to plan your budget, put in the work to get pre-approved, find a good realtor you trust, and make that list of deal-breakers. 

Happy House Hunting! 

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