So, finally you have made up your mind to purchase a home for yourself. Paying month after month of rent does not lead you anywhere, and you can own a home for yourself by paying a little extra for monthly EMIs (to pay back the home loans) as well as some initial investment. The mere thought of becoming a homeowner is an exhilarating one! But if you are a first-time homebuyer, stay ready for a shock. The home buying process is long and tedious, and on top of that there will be many phases where you will start feeling crazy and frustrated. The road leading up to your first home purchase is filled with many challenges and these can often create some annoying experiences. It is essential that you stay calm and focused, without losing the end goal i.e. to own a perfect property for yourself. However, we would like to save you from the unpleasantnesses, many first home buyers face, during the purchase process by giving you some insights. Here you go.
Experience #1: Agent Availability Issues
Once you make up your mind to purchase a property, you would definitely start going through some of the reputed property sites and their neatly arranged listings. You would come across a property that is ideally matching your preferences. But, stay ready for a shock there after! In most instances, you would require to set up a date with a real estate agent to even approach the seller. Yes, you will have the number of the agent and other details, so it would apparently seem very simple. Just try calling up and your call would be greeted by an electronic voice mail. In the next couple of days you will end up making many such calls, and unless you are lucky you will never get a call back from the agent. Then, just as you are about to move over, the agent will finally get back. After the initial conversation, the agent would promise you a property visit very soon. Again, stay ready to wait for at least a week to receive the next call from the agent. When the agent calls up next, he will give you an appointment for property visit only some weeks later. The real estate agents always have their hands full of clients and it becomes very difficult for them to accommodate the requirements of a new client, so they will always make you wait!
Conclusion: Be prepared to wait for 3-4 weeks before you finally get a scope to view the property you liked.
Experience #2: Lengthy Negotiation Process
After the visit to the property, following a lengthy waiting time, you finally love it and all seems great. You are now ready to make an offer, but even before you submit the offer to the seller your agent would need you to arrange a lot of documents. Arranging for the paperwork will require many days. Once the papers are ready and you have signed on all those documents, it would finally be submitted to the seller. You breathe a sigh of relief and try to imagine the joy on the seller’s face when he sees your reasonable offer. You are already convinced that he will say “Yes” in no time. But, after this, you do not hear from the seller for many days. After waiting for some days, you finally hear from the seller. And guess what, the seller is not happy with your offer (you would be really lucky if it happens otherwise)! He will send you a counter-offer and now you will have budgetary issues with the new offer. So, this process of sending an offer and then being replied by a counter-offer will go on for the next few weeks.
Conclusion: You should stay patient, offers and counter-offers are a part of the natural home buying process. Though it may take a long time you should stay logical and not end up overspending out of impatience.
Experience #3: Arranging for a Mountain of Papers
Finally, your offer is mutually agreed and now the bank processes can commence! Your loan is pre-approved, so now is the time to actually apply for it and set the ball rolling. If you think that the agents liked all the paperwork, wait before you meet the lenders from the bank. They absolutely love paperwork and would need a mountain of documents before processing your loan. The lenders would ask for all types of financial documents, including many that you never knew even existed! After you arrange for a certain list of documents, a new list will inevitably come up. You might also have to run around a bit to arrange for all the required papers. Once all the papers are duly signed and submitted to the lenders, you need to wait for another 30-45 days before you finally get the loan amount. Though in many stages, you may feel crazy but remember – the lenders are on your side and the documentations are for the mutual well-being.
Conclusion: Arranging for the heaps of documents can take a long time and make you feel annoyed but that is the general process followed by the banks. You have to play by their rules.
Experience #4: Home Inspection Reports that leave you scared (for used houses)
Well, this stage mostly occurs before the loan is approved. The lenders would like to judge the true potential of the house and thus they would conduct a home inspection when a used property is in question. Now, home inspectors are professionals who make a living out of finding small defects in properties. So, when they inspect your dream property, they will surely find a multitude of defects in it. When the report is finally shared with you, do not be scared to witness comments on termite problems, mold growth in the basement, leaky roofs or faulty electrical wiring. The home inspection report will surely shock you, and make you rethink about the purchase. But the good part about such inspections is that it gives you the scope to discuss the issues with the seller and ask for repairs of the problem areas. But that is simpler said than done. When you ask the seller for such repairs, be prepared for another round of intense negotiations.
Conclusion: However scary the home inspection report might be, it is a blessing for you. You would have the scope for moving into a used property with all the repairs done rather than facing the hassles afterwards.
Experience #5: Decorations have to wait (mostly for new houses)
While visiting your brand new property, you might have already etched some decoration plans in your mind. May be a big chandelier would suit well in the drawing room, may be an ultra-modern faucet would be perfect, etc. But after you have made the down payment as well as paid for agent charges, bank loan processing charges and other home purchase related expenses you will find yourself quickly running out of required cash to decorate the property just as you had imagined it to be. You may have to re-calculate and put aside some expensive decorating ideas for a later date. It can significantly dampen your spirits, but that is what life is!
Conclusion: Stay realistic with your initial decoration plan and purchase things that you absolutely cannot do without. Other expensive items can be purchased once you have moved in.
Experience #6: Back to the Starting Point
Through all these phases of home buying, there would be many opportunities where you might have a disagreement with the seller and decide to quit the persuasion of the property in question. But, in the worst case scenario, this fallout would occur in the last stage of property purchase. By this time you have gone through all the pains and annoying experiences, and the disagreement would mean that you would have to start over again! This means all the hard work and frustrating experiences would need a redo. You might feel completely broken when this happens, but like in all aspects of life, you have to move on and search for the next best option at hand.
Conclusion: There are many other properties that might fit into your scheme of things. If the purchase did not finalize with one seller, you need to quickly start finding alternatives.
Going through the hardships makes all the more sense when there is a comfortable and better life waiting for you on the other end!