One of the first steps to home buying is to save for a down payment. It takes sacrifices and looking out for every dollar.
Once you go under contract, you might be tempted to clinch even tighter and try to save on everything else.
Here are a few areas where you should look to get the best deal, and a couple where it saves headaches to pay a little more.
Steps To Home Buying That Will Save You a Few Bucks
Shopping for home insurance is similar to car insurance – if you’re willing to shop around and compare, you can save some moolah.
It’s never been easier to get online quotes from the major providers. There are also plenty of “top home insurance companies” lists that have done the work for you.
Your agent may have a preferred lender but you’re always able to shop local mortgage lenders.
While it may seem like they would all have the same rates, they do have different fees and costs. Ask them about origination and/or underwriting fees.
Your agent will most likely also have a preferred title company to handle closing. Feel free to ask about what costs are rolled into closing costs and how much of that is attributed to typical ones:
- Appraisal (contracted by your lender)
- Title insurance
- Title search
- Transfer tax
- Various other fees
Some lenders allow you to roll many closing costs into your mortgage. This allows you to extend these payments over the life of your mortgage.
Steps To Home Buying That You Can’t Skip
A Real Estate Agent
With the rise of iBuyers and other non-conventional brokerages, it might be tempting to go with a company that can buy or sell your home for a flat fee.
While this will save you money over the traditional model on the sell side, as a buyer of a home you don’t pay your agent’s commission anyway.
So you might as well use a professional that is acting in your best interest!
On the sell side, there are also reasons to use a traditional agent over the mass, flat-fee brokers such as:
- No single point of contact
- Some agents might not show the home as aggressively due to lower payouts
- Home might not be marketed as well
- Not a substitute for the experience and intimate knowledge of the local market
RELATED: ARE HOME INSPECTIONS WORTH THE COST?
The Home Inspection
Are we biased here? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean we’re wrong.
If you’re going to spend $300,000+ on an investment, you want to find the absolute best home inspector possible to make sure you understand your investment.
We can’t tell you how thankful we are for knowing the ins-and-outs of our home; Especially when something goes wrong. That can only happen if you have an experienced inspector that has seen hundreds (or thousands) of homes.
The reality is that the new inspectors have to start somewhere, and they usually lure you in with a low price tag. This is one of those areas where the old adage “you get what you pay for” is applicable.
Resist and pay for quality. Not for our sake. For yours.