5 Tips for Buying a Home in Elkhart Indiana
Looking to buy a home in the Elkhart, Indiana area? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Home Buying Tip #1: Get your finances in order.
Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house to purchase. If you need help getting in touch with a pre-approval specialist, send an email to Nick@TeamFoy.com and we’ll be in touch to assist you.
Home Buying Tip #2: Find a house you can afford.
Once you’ve checked your credit report, fixed any errors, and have been pre-approved by our loan specialist, you’ll need to determine how much house you can afford. A general rule of thumb you can use to determine affordability is simply multiplying your salary by 2.5.
There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Here is a calculator from BankRate.com to try out.
Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, home insurance, utility costs, etc. that you’ll be responsible for paying each year as a homeowner.
Home Buy Tip #3: Hire a professional.
While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional buyer’s agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process. Read this article on hiring a buyer’s agent to represent you.
Home Buying Tip #4: Do your homework.
Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller. If you are working with an agent, they should be able to tell you the housing market statistics for Elkhart, Indiana area as well as surrounding cities like Granger, Mishawaka, South Bend, Goshen, etc.
Home Buying Tip #5: Think long term.
Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Learn more about Elkhart Community Schools by talking to parent’s with students currently enrolled as well as doing some research online. Here is a helpful article covering schools.
Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line as demand is typically higher for neighborhoods in good school districts.
When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future. Your buyer agent should have a list of service providers they work with if you need assistance determining who to hire for inspections and other closing related tasks.
If you or someone you know is ready to find a house to purchase in Elkhart, Indiana I’d love to work with you and represent you in the transaction to ensure you get the best deal possible while buying your dream home.
Fill out this contact form or contact me via one of the options below.
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Additional Articles to Read:
- 4 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Sale
- Best Schools in Elkhart Indiana
- 10 Tips for Finding Homes for Sale in Elkhart
Contact Kevin Foy, Elkhart Realtor
Kevin is a real estate broker-associate with RE/MAX Oak Crest Realty in Elkhart, Indiana and has served real estate clients for over 35+ years in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan.
To get a hold of Kevin for real estate services:
- Phone: 574-536-9218
- Email: Kevin@TeamFoy.com
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