Hello, I am Chris Harter with Homes by Chris Harter and Heartland Properties. I want to talk to you today about buying a house in Omaha or Council Bluffs. I’m a realtor licensed in both Iowa and Nebraska and want to earn your business if you are thinking about buying or selling a house in Omaha, Council Bluffs and the surrounding area. There are a few things you need to know when you’re starting the home buying process in Omaha or Council Bluffs. First, you need to know your budget when buying a house in Omaha or Council Bluffs. You will want to talk to your lender to see what you can afford and then work on getting pre-approved. They’ll look at your credit score, your ratio of your income versus your expenses, and let you know what you can afford. You want to not only take into consideration the principal and interest payment. You will also want to look at the other costs of owning a home, taxes, insurance and maintenance are a few you want to consider. The lender can forecast a potential payment based on different scenarios.
You will then want to prioritize the area or location you would like to live in. Based on your needs and expectations will determine what areas you will look to purchase your home. Is it close to a school if you have children? Is it close to downtown if you are looking for many choices in restaurants and entertainment? Or maybe you are looking somewhere in the suburbs where it’s quiet, and you’re away from the hustle and bustle. Or you would like to be close to a bus line. Think of all of those things when you are determining where you want to live. What are your must-haves? Really focus on your must-haves. I must have three bedrooms because we’re married and have two children. Or you need an in-home office. With that, you might want to think about the future. As we age, you might not want to be taking the stairs up and down to do your laundry. Again, you might want everything all on the first floor.
There are also nice to have, an extra bedroom or a spare room for in-laws or friends to come over. But really know that you need to stick to your must-haves. Assess the property condition once you do find a home. Now, there are certain things that are cosmetic you can change. Hardware, paint, countertops, carpet, smaller items. Don’t get hung up on those things. Also, if you go into an open house, do not get stuck on all of the clutter. Try to see past that. What are the bones of the house? How does this room feel? Spacious, bright with the lights, with the windows.
Then there are potential renovations that could be done in the home. You might want to think about that in preparing your budget. Maybe it is something like new countertops, carpet or maybe it’s a major renovation, such as expanding the laundry room, taking down a wall. There are many things that could be quite costly. You need to consider those in your longterm goals. Again, focus on your must-haves. Get your finances in order.
After meeting with a lender you will be better prepared to start your home buying process. The best preparation you can do is work with a lender to see what you can afford. Then they can produce a preapproval letter, which makes the offer much stronger when the home seller in Omaha or Council Bluffs knows that you have done your homework and you can financially afford the house.
I’m Chris Harter with Homes by Chris Harter and Heartland Properties. If you have additional questions on real estate and would like to get ahold of me, reach out to me and my team at Homes By Chris Harter at www.homesbychrisharter.com or 402-378-9462. I look forward to speaking with you.