Things To DO When Buying A House

Buying a house anywhere, but especially in Portland right now, can be stressful.  Our recent blog post on “Things NOT To Do When Buying A House” is a list of ways to avoid running into issues that could throw your purchase off-track.  In this list, we are going to give you some pointers on things to DO to help make your Portland home purchase a success.

1. Get a solid lending preapproval (or have fat stack$$$)

And unless you have a burgeoning bank account, you are going to need that pre-approval.  Occasionally we have buyers that want to wait to get pre-approved until they have found a home or area that they like.  Unfortunately, if you’ve fallen in love with a home before you’re pre-approved, you’re already too late.  If you’ve fallen in love with it, you can bet that another buyer has as well, and they’ve probably already put in a pre-approved offer.  Get your pre-approval first. 

2. Set a budget

Getting pre-approved for your loan is helpful when it comes to setting a budget, as it gives you a maximum amount that the bank is willing to lend.  Additionally, different financing options have varying maximum loan amounts.  However, an important factor for buyers to account for is their personal monthly housing spend budget.  While you might be pre-approved for a higher loan amount, you may not want to spend $500 or $1000 more than what you currently spend on monthly housing.  If your monthly housing spend keeps you from doing the things you want to do with your life, you may need to rethink your budget, and which houses you should be looking for.

3. Be picky

Sometimes my buyers apologize for being “too picky” when we are out looking at houses.  My response has been the same for years: it’s fine to be picky, but eventually you do have to pick.  Everyone has different desires, needs, and resources when it comes to housing, and it’s okay to take your time to find a place that meets what you are looking for.  In nearly all cases, there will be some factor that a buyer will need to compromise on, but it is our job to help you find the home that best suits your needs.  Most home buyers find that when they have their budget and search parameters dialed in, they start seeing the similarities between the homes that they are seeing, which makes placing an offer on a home simply a matter of finding the home that feels like the right fit much easier.

4. Get the report

Make sure that you get a market report from your broker BEFORE you place an offer on a home.  In Portland, houses do move quickly.  However, that doesn’t mean that you should blindly make an offer without reviewing a market report.  In most cases, there is at least a little time to do some research and reporting before a seller plans to review offers.  When working with buyers, we check in with the listing brokers of the properties they are viewing, to verify if there are already offers in hand, and if they have an established offer review timeframe.  This way, we know ahead of time how quickly we need to move on a home.

5. Put one foot in front of the other

Buying a home or property is a big event, but can be made less stressful or intimidating by breaking it down into a series of steps.  Taking the process one step at a time, and checking off items like a to-do list can make the process less daunting.  Focus on the specific step that you need to accomplish next.  Your broker is here to help you with decisions and planning, and will make sure you are on track.

If you’re planning to buy a house in the Portland area, we’d love to meet with you to show you how we can help.  Give us a call!