So you’ve decided to purchase a home in Des Moines ... congratulations! Now what? Whether you’re a long-time Des Moines resident or transplant to our lovely city, we’re excited for you to take your first steps into home ownership here. Let’s talk about what happens next.
Find a Realtor You Trust
Searching for a great realtor isn’t as simple as flipping through the Yellow Pages or hoping a Google search turns up a quality agent. It’s important to find someone you connect with—someone who understands what you’re looking for and will work closely with you to help you find it. Buying a home is a huge investment. A great agent should fully appreciate the magnitude of this decision and be willing to help you and your family settle into the perfect home that fits all your needs. They should put you at ease when you ask questions or need help understanding the home-buying process. Personal recommendations go a long way in this industry, so you may want to ask your friends and family members for recommendations. Or maybe you just get a really good vibe off of a realtor’s website and blog posts... That works too!
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You will most likely need a loan to purchase your first house. If you don’t already have a relationship with a bank you’d like to work with, ask your realtor! Chances are, they can recommend several mortgage lenders who offer competitive interest rates. A bank can also help you determine how much cash you’ll need on-hand for a down payment. Once you’re pre-approved and have your down payment saved, you can really get your house search underway because you’ll know exactly how much home you can afford.
Narrow Down the Neighborhoods
Finding a neighborhood you love can depend on many factors—from school districts and proximity to certain parts of town, to the style, price and age of the homes in the area—there’s a lot to consider! If you haven’t quite landed on where you’d like to house hunt, your realtor is your best resource. They should know this city inside and out, and they may even be able to tell you things about certain neighborhoods that even long-time Des Moines residents wouldn’t even know!
Look Online and In Person
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but a simple photo may not necessarily tell the whole story. While looking at homes online is important, it’s also critical to see a house in person to get a real feel for the home, the property, and the neighborhood. When you’re looking, keep an open mind. Don’t forget that little things such as paint color or wallpaper, dated fixtures and other cosmetic issues can be easily addressed for a relatively small amount of money.
Be Prepared to Move as Quickly or Slowly as the Market Demands
The real estate market, like many markets, ebbs and flows. If the market is hot, understand that the decision to make an offer could require a quick turnaround. If the market is slower, you may have more time. Your realtor can help you navigate this and give you the best chance at landing your dream home no matter what.
Buying a house can be a thrilling experience for any person, couple or family, so don’t forget to enjoy the home-buying process a little! And if you haven’t yet found an agent you’re excited to work with, Space Simply agents would love to talk with you. Contact us today with a quick note or give us a call at 515-423-0899.