Going it alone is not really an option when buying a home…make sure you have the right people on your team.
There are a lot of moving parts to a home sale transaction. From financing and insurance to inspections and moving companies, there are a lot of important details that need your attention. That’s why it’s so important to have a proven team of professionals working with you on your transaction.
I’m not going to talk about the value of using a real estate agent here. There’s plenty of information out there on that topic (like here, here, here and even here). I will point out a few people it’s easy to overlook, however, because they’re not in the types of businesses you encounter every day. Unless, of course, you’re in the business of buying and selling houses everyday, like real estate agents are (see what I did there?).
So, here are a few people you’ll want to know when buying a home:
You won’t often find them sitting in your local bank branch. These are people with specialized knowledge in the types of home financing products that may be best suited for your specific situation. Whether you’re looking at a conventional, FHA, USDA or VA loan, these folks will have the knowledge and expertise to steer you in the right direction. They should also have knowledge of specialized programs that may be available to some home buyers, such as first time buyers, and others.
While not required, a home inspection is something we recommend all home buyers have done. Even if a home is brand new, a home inspection can serve as a double check to ensure all work has been done up to code, or that nothing is missed on a final walkthrough. Best of all, a builder warranty will likely still be in place that can sometimes help with any needed repairs.
For older homes, inspections can be critical for finding issues of deferred maintenance, poorly done updates (e.g., remodels done by the homeowner or an unlicensed/inexperienced contractor) or minor issues that have the potential to become major issues without monitoring. Most important, a home inspection can help address safety issues, especially with regard to structural, electrical or other issues.
It stands for Wood Destroying Organisms, and it’s designed to find evidence of termites and fungi that lead to wood rot. Often times, it involves water/dampness that leads to mold, mildew and just general wood decay. It’s often found at the bottom of door jambs, wood siding near the ground, roof sheathing and the like. Often times, a WDO Inspection can be done at the same time as the home inspection, sometimes by the same inspector (if they are appropriately licensed).
Other folks you may need to get to know before, or shortly after, buying a home, including homeowner’s insurance brokers, handymen, lawn service professionals & landscapers, plumbers, electricians and many more. Fortunately, we have a list of vendors that we’ve worked with in the past, and we feel confident recommending. We’ll be adding to that list over time, as well.
Have a service provider/professional that you recommend? Let us know who’s done good work for you in the comments.