The ultimate guide to buying a property in the US
Buying a property in any country around the world can be an incredibly daunting task, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. With the host of legislation and legal systems to take note of, it adds the additional pressure of going through all the administrative matters on top of finding your dream home at an affordable price. The multitude of information that you need to process and financial decisions that you have to make often deters homebuyers from getting a place of their own. However, buying a house in the US does not necessarily have to be this stressful and difficult. If you are looking for a new nest, fret not as we have created an ultimate guide with easy-to-follow steps to help you in your journey of finding the perfect house for you and your family.
Create a brief for your ideal property
Before you get started on sourcing for potential homes, come up with a brief of your ideal home to keep you focused and to keep your realtor well-informed. Include things like the price range, location, available amenities around, and other criteria that you wish to fulfil. Throughout the process of finding a new home, it can be very easy to go off rails and settle for something else that you did not originally wish for. As such, creating this brief will help you to keep your goals in mind, and easily check off any properties that do not match your fulfilment. Furthermore, it saves your realtor the trouble of finding properties for you that are well over your budget. However, a tip is to keep your brief flexible, as searching for the perfect home that checks off everything will send you on a wild goose chase leading to nothing.
Finding a suitable realtor
Getting a realtor that is qualified and registered, reliable, and also one that listens to your needs is key to making the entire process a lot less stressful and hassle-free. A good realtor is one who is able to follow your wants and find appropriate houses for you, instead of mindlessly hard-selling you properties that do not fit your criteria or budget. Find one whom you can trust and feel comfortable with, instead of one who you are constantly doubting in terms of his motives of earning a higher commission or his abilities. Take the time to ask around for any recommendations from your friends or relatives, or find one online who has legitimate and a substantial amount of good reviews. For example, Connect with an Expert Palm Springs Realtor for some of the best services if you happen to be buying a property in that area.
Assemble your property team
After finding the frontman for the job, you will need your sidekicks with you too. This includes a lawyer to help you with the legislation and procedures, a currency specialist to help you convert all your cash to dollars (if you are relocating), or a financial advisor to help you keep your finances in check. For immigrants, it is also useful to appoint someone you trust to help you do house viewings if you are unable to fly down, though getting a feel of the house for yourself is highly recommended. Though they are not directly involved in helping you find a property, these unsung heroes will help make your entire process a whole lot smoother and easier.
Begin your search
You are finally ready to start your search properly. By now, you should have already shortlisted a few areas that you are interested in and a budget that you are willing to pay for your home. Start looking at listings that are in the vicinity of the neighbourhood that you have chosen, and engage your realtor to arrange for viewings. Starting on the hunt itself will put you into perspective, as you navigate through the fulfilments that you are unable to satisfy at the same time. For example, getting a house near a train station while having lots of food options in the area might not be feasible at your current price range. Therefore, make alterations to your brief if needed, and change them realistically according to the property market.
Organise viewing trips
Once you and your realtor have narrowed down to a couple of listings, it is time to go for viewings. A pro tip is to try to squeeze your viewings back to back, to help you maximise your time in the area and make your trip out worth it. You do not need to exclusively limit your viewing trips to just these houses, as you might find it useful to take a walk or drive around the neighbourhood to check out the nearby amenities and transport options and speak to locals to get a feel of the area. You can also take it a step further and rent an apartment in the neighbourhood for a couple of weeks to see if your neighbourhood is suited to your lifestyle. Though this is not recommended for homebuyers who are contemplating on securing a deal and living on a time crunch, this can be incredibly useful for individuals who have the luxury of time.
Manage your finances
Once you have further narrowed down your list to a few potential homes, it is time to sit down with your financial advisor to take charge of your finances. Discuss the options for financing your purchase, be it through your savings, a mortgage, or a bank loan. You should also make an appointment with your currency specialist to make the final arrangements for converting your assets to dollars. This step also includes ironing out the administrative issues, like legal, tax, insurance, and inheritance pension. If you lack the confidence of navigating through all these yourself, it can be wise to hire a professional to do it for you. This saves you the trouble and stress, as well as the possibility of overlooking certain significant aspects.
Make an offer
When the time is right and your soul is completely at peace with the new home, it is time to make the offer. Unless you are able to meet the price that the seller has proposed, negotiation involving a few rounds of back and forth can be expected. Making a deal that is far below the offer price may not help you in bargaining for a better price, as it may backfire and cause the seller to give up on your offer and proceed with another buyer. Time is also of the essence, and taking too much time to contemplate the house may cause you to lose the property in a matter of days or even hours. Therefore, it is important to jump right in and seal the deal once you are set on making the property your new home.
Complete the deal
Once you and the seller have come to a workable price for both of you, and your lawyer and realtor have settled all the procedural and administrative issues, it is time to close the deal and embark on your new journey. Congratulations! You are now a legal owner of a property in the US.
By following this guide and taking the process one step at a time, buying a property in the US may not seem as intimidating as before. Though it may seem tedious and stressful at times, having a detailed plan and procedure to follow will help you to track your progress. With a reliable realtor by your side, he will make sure that you are in good hands and take care of everything that you possibly need. Once you embark on this journey, you are one step closer to getting that house of your dreams.
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