Buying a House in Denver – Tips To Get Started
I am all about setting proper expectations. I feel that is the key to most of life, let alone real estate. So here is a step-by-step approach that I take when I am entrusted with helping a client purchase a home in Denver. If you’re a first timer, check out my First Time Homebuyer Checklist.
This saves you time and makes the process more efficient. Lending standards change all the time, so even if you know you’d qualify for a certain price point, I will still recommend you speak with a loan officer first to ensure we can be nimble when looking at homes.
This is ever more important with a hot market like we have here in Denver. Being prepared to make a quick offer is essential in many areas.
I am also happy to answer any questions as well as I’m familiar with the mortgage approval/lending process. If you don’t know any lenders, I can give you a few great ones I have worked with in the past.
Look at Houses Online
Most realtor sites want you to look at homes on their site so they can get your information and follow up on you. No one uses them because they’re not user friendly. Go browse on Zillow, Zip Realty, Trulia, or Redfin. They are just easier to use and lets face it, they are what everyone naturally uses anyway.
No, they do not have 100% accurate information.
I’ve had clients email me properties they see on there and when I pull them up in the MLS….They were sold a month ago! But for browsing and getting an idea of what type of home, features, and area you want, they’re just better.
Decide on What You Want
Now that you’ve got a good idea what you get for the money in different areas of town, sit down and write out what is important to you. Proximity to restaurants, parks, & downtown? Square footage? Do you want to be responsible for things an HOA covers like shoveling snow and cutting grass? Do you want a Garage? Is square footage more important than location? Good schools? Pet friendly?
If it’s you and your spouse, have the real conversations about what is important to each of you and decide what you’re willing to compromise on. You’d be surprised how many couples skip this part.
Narrow Your Preferences
Ok, now that you’ve got your preferences, wants, and needs down it’s time to send you properties directly from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). I can have properties sent to you the minute they go live on the MLS. We can filter by price, square footage, location, style, pretty much anything you want so you’re only seeing properties that fit your needs.
This is important because they may not show on the major real estate sites for up to 10 days! Most places in Denver are under contract by then. Some of my clients still prefer to search on the major sites and receive MLS emails of new properties as they hit the market. Either way, I make sure you’re seeing properties that you want to be seeing. It’s been a successful approach!