Main Content

7 Essential home buying tips

Buying a home can be both intimidating and overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. Here are a few tips that can keep you in control and informed.

  1. Verify your credit score
  2. Financial capability is the first requirement for one to buy a home. To prove this, request for a credit report from reliable agencies like Equifax and TransUnion. A high credit score opens up a lot of opportunities: lower interest rates, better financing options, maybe even some leniency.

    Don’t let errors in credit evaluation derail your chances at a good score; apply for corrections as soon as you notice these.

  3. Stay realistic and shop in your price range
  4. Temper your expectations only to homes you can afford. Narrow your choices down to those with monthly payments not exceeding 25% of your income. Also factor in moving expenses, utilities, and improvement costs. Remember: It’s possible to get pre-approved for much more than you need but it’s wise to settle for less.

  5. Budget for repairs, but don’t shy away from negotiations
  6. Before sealing the deal on a home, first hire a reputable home inspector to get a proper evaluation of its condition. Also, ask the seller about any defects they’re aware of. Ohio laws obligate sellers to disclose any issues with their home to potential buyers. Who knows, the seller might even be willing to shoulder the cost of repairs just to make the sale. It never hurts to ask.

  7. Compare home insurance cost and coverage
  8. You’ll want to be covered by reliable home insurance when something unpredictable happens. To get the best deal without having to pay too much for insurance, compare quotes from at least three different providers. List the things you want to be insured and go with the provider with the best rates.

  9. Figure out how fast you need to act
  10. The Columbus metro area is currently a hot seller’s market. Listings get sold fast and a well-priced home in the market can receive multiple offers in a day.

    Ask your real estate agent on how long homes in your chosen neighborhood usually stay in the market, as well as the average listing price. Your agent’s response can help you decide whether you should pounce on opportunities or study your options a bit more.

  11. Research in the Columbus Metropolitan Library
  12. A library visit to help you land a home? The idea is not as outlandish as it seems. Some sellers may only know their house’s recent history but not its entire background. This is especially true for homes in Columbus built before 1920. The Columbus Metropolitan Library’s main branch houses city directories dating back to 1841, as well as old real estate maps and census records that go past 72 years. What you’ll find out can be the ace on your sleeve during negotiation.

  13. Choose the area with the best “feel”
  14. Know that location is crucial. You don’t want to be stuck in a party district when all you want is peace, quiet, and leisurely morning walks.

    When going to open houses, take a quick walk around the neighborhood. Check out nearby restaurants and shops. Ask the locals about how it’s like to live there. Information from your casual sleuthing will play a key role in choosing your neighborhood.

Real estate in Columbus is selling fast. Luckily, Dena Clouse and Courtney Eaglin of the Clouse Eaglin Team can help you get a home in no time. Get in touch with them today at 614.325.1740 or 614.746.0304. You can also send an email to dena(at)rcgrealtors(dotted)com or