1. Before you do anything, have a complete understanding of your finances.
This is step one. Even before looking at homes online, browsing the newspapers or obtaining a buyers agent. Get a copy of your credit report and go over it with a fine tooth comb. Make sure there is nothing you don't understand on it, correct or repair any discrepancies and clear up any late payments. Make sure you are not behind on anything and everything is in good standing. If this step cannot be done within a month, take the time to repair anything you can, pay off as much as you can and save up as much as you can. This will set you up for homeownership right off the bat.
2. Find and use a buyers agent.
After your finances, there is nothing that can save you more money than having the expertise of a good buyers agent representing you throughout the process. It costs you NOTHING to use a buyers agent as they get paid on the commission from the seller of whatever home you choose. So they are totally working for your best interest and not the interest of the seller. They keep your financial and buying situation confidential and will negotiate on your behalf for your terms. There is really no reason not to use a buyers representative.
3. Make a list of all the things you want and don't want in a home.
This is more than simply square footage, bedroom and bathroom numbers. This is thinking about your lifestyle and what would fit. Does a rambler work better than a two story? Do you want a bigger, fenced yard? Close to shopping and schools? Does the kitchen window look out into the backyard where you can watch your children? Get specific and detailed. If you find a home that matches most of your criteria, do the things that don't match really matter? These are all thoughts you need to take into account for when looking for a home.
4. Shop around for a loan.
Now that you know your finances inside and out, make sure you feel comfortable with the person you put them in the hands of. If there is anything you don't know, don't understand or if you are just uncomfortable with them, there may be a good reason. Don't sign anything you don't fully understand. Get the best rates and compare fees, points and customer service. All this matters in making a huge investment as in Ruidoso real estate.
5. Have and attend a home inspection.
Because this is one of the biggest investments you may ever make it really makes sense to learn as much about it as you can. Hire a neutral inspector that won't hide anything from you "just to make the deal go through". Listen to their advice on repairs, life expectancy on major issues like roofs and furnaces and keep the copy of the report for future issues. How a Home Inspection Can Protect Your Home's Future
As you can see, a lot of this is about understanding and knowledge. The more you know, the better you will feel going into a real estate transaction. It will help you in the long run to know as much as you can about your home, your finances and your loan. Call us today to get set up with a buyers agent or if you have any questions about this or other Ruidoso real estate.