Buying Property In Barbados
What would you recommend as the first step when buying a new home?
Before you start looking at homes for sale, be sure you do some “homework.” Here are some of the questions for which you’ll need answers:
Check out interest rates
What are current local mortgage interest rates for 15-year and 30-year fixed rate mortgages, and for 1-, 3- and 5-year adjustable rate mortgages?
Shop for the best loan
Which type of loan is best for you? Will you be in the house several years and benefit most from a long-term fixed rate, or do you want a lower, short-term rate because you plan to move soon or expect your income to increase rapidly over the next few years?
Determine how much house you can afford
How much of a mortgage can you qualify for? The loan amount plus your down payment tells you how much house you can afford.
Investigate neighborhood prices
What neighborhoods feature homes in your price range?
Separate needs from wants
What are your priorities for your next home? How important are public transportation, community facilities, on-street parking, lot size, privacy? How many bedrooms and baths will you need? Will you need a space for a home office? How important are quality neighborhood schools?
17 Steps to a successful first home purchase:
If you’ve decided it’s time to buy your first home, you may be a little overwhelmed about all the things you need to do and decide on. Here’s a handy list of steps you should take on the way to your new home.
1. Select a professional real estate agent
2. Investigate mortgage programs
3. Contact a reputable lender
4. Get pre-approved for a loan
5. Develop a “needs and wants” list for your house
6. Research housing inventory with your agent.
7. Tour homes
8. Pare down your choices using your “needs and wants” list
9. Write a purchase offer for the home with your agent
10. Negotiate the contract with the sellers
11. Sign the bottom line!
12. Prepare for the move
13. Hire movers; or
14. Get lots of boxes and invite all your friends to help
15. Complete final walk-through of the home
16. Attend settlement
17. Move in and celebrate!
What is the single most important rule in looking for a home?
While many important details must be considered in choosing your first home – style, size, price, location – one thing is certain: if you will be moving again in a few years, be sure you buy with selling in mind. Chances are, the items that make your new home a comfortable fit for you will also attract buyers later on.
Some special considerations for the first-time homeowner who has resale in mind:
- Watch for growth potential: Look for an established neighborhood that will be enhanced by future growth but not inconvenienced by it.
- Look out for resale value: Seek a prime neighborhood where homes sell well in any market.
- Check out location: Consider availability of all aspects of transportation; even those you may not use.
- Research Area Schools: Check for quality public schools, whether or not you have school-age children.
- Go for the green: Look carefully at the lot for trees and greenery to buffer winter winds or summer heat.
- Make room for visitors: See if ample guest parking is available for you and your neighbors.
- Ponder privacy issues: Consider how much privacy the home and lot provide.
- Drive the commute before you buy: Check morning and afternoon drive time to work, schools, shopping, churches.
What should I ask a prospective agent?
For novice home buyers, the first place to start is by looking for a professional to help you. An experienced real estate agent will “bind” together the entire process and help you find the right property. Best of all, your real estate agent will keep things on track from shopping to closing.
Here are some key questions to ask the agents you are interviewing:
- Do you represent the buyer or the seller?
- What are your fees and who pays them?
- How much time will you have to help me look for a new home? What tasks will you perform for me as my representative?
- How often will you communicate with me, and how can I reach you?
- Can you refer me to some buyers you have represented recently?
- Do you have access to the area multiple listing service, foreclosed listings and other sources of information about available homes?
- Can you show me all the available homes in my price range, even if they are listed by another company?
- Will you give me a comparative price analysis for any homes I am considering?
- When to buy? When is the market good for buying property?
Remember at the end of it all you should feel confident in your decision to purchase that property. A good real estate agent can help you to do that.