What: Houston area home sales continue to establish new records each month with hundreds of first time homebuyers making one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. However, many of those first timers are naïve about the process and make critical errors that leave them unhappy and financially stressed. To address this problem, one of the Houston area’s foremost experts on residential real estate is preparing “Home Buying Seminar in 2004,” next week to ensure a trouble-free home buying experience.
Who: Betty Bezemer of Keller Williams, who has 31 years of real estate sales and consulting experience. Bezemer is a frequent contributor to media coverage regarding real estate issues. We can also arrange for a first time homebuyer to describe the difficulties they’ve experienced.
Why: Real estate is often a family’s biggest lifetime investment, so it is important for first timers to be fully aware of how they can protect themselves. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), first-time buyers purchase more than 40 percent of all homes. Bezemer can discuss the following tips:
1. Set aside ample time.
2. Make a plan.
3. Get your credit in shape.
4. Figure what you can afford.
5. Save up an ample down payment.
6. Get pre-qualified by a lender.
7. Agree upon your “must haves.”
8. Select a buyer’s agent.
9. Focus on value.
10. Be realistic about handyman skills.
11. Consider the seller’s motivations.
12. Review the association rules.
13. Walk the neighborhood.
14. Establish a negotiation strategy.
15. Sign a contract that protects you.
16. Shop for the best mortgage deal.
17. Choose the right mortgage.
18. Get a quality home inspection.
19. Consider a home warranty.
20. Be prepared to start over if it falls through.