Five Insider Tricks to Buying a Home

Don't miss #3; can't ignore the credit score.

by MIKE HALL, Broker/Owner

One of the biggest purchases you'll ever make is buying a home. I'm here to help you not screw it up. Here are some tips that you need to know or work on when buying a home in Louisville - or anywhere!

1. Be present at the home inspection. Failing to get a home inspection is like playing Russian roulette. You never know what's going on with a house until a certified home inspector gives it a thorough report. On the flipside: Don't freak out. All houses have some issues. I can guide you through what's worrisome and what's normal.

2. Shop around for your mortgage. I have great connections with local, Louisville mortgage companies so I can usually find you the best interest rate. One of my customers just got an interest rate of 3.5 percent. Wowza! A little math: Compared to a 4.375 percent interest rate, this rate (that isn't even 1 percent lower) will reduce their monthly principal and interest by over $100 a month amortized over 30 years - saving almost $40,000.

3. Improve your credit score. Look at your credit report. Dispute anything that doesn't seem accurate. Work on improving your score by paying your bills on time. If you don't have a credit card, get one and use it. But use it wisely. This will help build your score which will get you a low interest rate. (See above math for incentive to raise your score.)

4. Check your emotions. Give yourself a breather before you make an offer on the first house you see. Luckily, with me by your side, your decision will be pretty informed. If you do love a house here in Louisville, I can help you decipher if it's a good deal or if you need to shop around. I don't want you to make a decision on emotion alone. I want you to make a smart decision.

5. Do your homework on $$$. It really comes down to money. You've got to factor in escrows, insurance and utilities. Also realize you'll probably need to bring some money to the table for closing (sometimes I can negotiate for the seller to pay a percentage of the closing costs).

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