Buying a home isn’t just about finding a physical structure; it’s about finding a place where you can picture yourself living for the rest of your life. It’s about finding a neighborhood that resonates with your lifestyle, where you can imagine having great relationships with your neighbors and your kids playing in the front yard. It’s about finding a space that allows you to pursue your passions and create the life you’ve always envisioned.
The search for a new home is a unique and emotional experience. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer eagerly stepping into the realm of homeownership or a seasoned buyer seeking a fresh start, the process of buying a home stirs a range of emotions – from anticipation and excitement to moments of uncertainty and reflection.
Though buying a new home can be overwhelming, there is a wealth of support available to guide you through the home-buying process. The expertise and support of Lincoln professionals will empower you to make informed decisions while alleviating some of the stress associated with such a significant life event.
When financing a home, it’s important that you understand the process, feel comfortable asking questions and are confident in your financing decision. Katie Thompson at Lincoln Federal Savings Bank (lincolnfed.com) (Member FDIC / Equal Housing Lender) is a great resource whether you’re preparing to finance your first home, purchasing a new home or refinancing your current one.
Thompson recommends meeting with a loan officer early in your home search to obtain a pre-qualification letter. This letter will help the seller understand that you’re a serious buyer when the home of your dreams hits the market. From pre-qualification to closing day, Katie and the team at Lincoln Federal Savings Bank will guide you, answer your questions and ensure that you’re in the best financing product for your financial situation. When closing day comes, it is her goal that you’re excited and confident as you open your new front door for the first time.
According to Katie Thomspon, “Closing day is such a monumental day for customers purchasing a home. For most lenders, closing day is the best day because everything has come together to get you into your dream house. Instead of paying someone else’s mortgage, you truly are investing in yourself.”
Experienced Real Estate Professionals
Because buying a home is a big decision that can have a multitude of consequences, you shouldn’t hire someone who is mediocre or inexperienced at real estate. Especially if you are new to the home-buying process, you should hire an agent who not only knows the market, but who will protect you. Buying a house is generally the most expensive investment one makes. Ensure you’re working with the best by checking their credentials before you hire them. Ask them qualifying questions such as how long they’ve been a realtor, why you should pick them and what they do that other agents don’t. But, don’t just rely on what they tell you. Look them up online and ask around to be sure you know exactly who you are working with.
If you aren’t sure who to work with, consider hiring the Professional Realty Group (prg-ne.com) of Berkshire Hathaway. They only hire the best realtors to serve clientele, and it shows. Their experience, professionalism and attitude sets them apart from other realtors in the area. Selling more real estate than any other team in Lincoln, they have more than enough experience to handle any situation that comes their way. But, just because they sell a lot of houses doesn’t mean they are sales-oriented.
“Too often, realtors get too busy making the job a social call, and forget they’re not salespeople. We’re the opposite. We don’t tell people to buy houses. We tell them when not to,” said Realtor Ben Bleicher. “Our number one priority is protecting our buyers and sellers.”
Inspect Your Purchase
One important part of buying a home is having a professional home inspection performed prior to purchase. This is usually completed as part of the negotiation phase during the purchase process, and the inspection should be scheduled as soon as possible after getting your offer accepted. Home inspectors are in high demand and are typically booked out several weeks.
When choosing a home inspector, look for one that has years of experience and credentialing with a National Association, as well as someone with the education and experience needed to do the job right. King’s Home Inspections is one of the best businesses to go with, as Randy King is an InterNACHI Certified Master Inspector with over 25 years in business. He has inspected over 8,000 homes of all shapes and sizes in southeast Nebraska.
“Components in a house have a lifespan, and I can identify the age of components and help you formulate a game plan on when to plan to remodel, replace or upgrade key components of your home,” stated Owner Randy King. “Knowing the life expectancy of your prospective home is especially important if major systems have to be upgraded in the first few years of ownership since it helps you know what major expenses you might be facing.”
Remember, while a home inspection is comprehensive, it is not invasive. This means your inspector will review readily accessible areas of a home, but will refer you to a specialist for further evaluation if a component is suspect.
New Walls, New Home
After buying and moving into a new house, it might not feel like home at first. Nothing smells or looks like what your home should be. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to help make your new house better align with your style and erase the scent of previous owners. A fresh coat of paint, whether on the interior or exterior of your home, can be all your house needs to start feeling like home.
Walter’s Painting Inc. (walterspaintinginc.com), a local business offering first-rate painting services in addition to wallpaper removal, power washing, refinishing of decks and other outdoor areas, re-staining, painting cabinets and nearly any coating removal or application you can think of, offers efficient, reliable service to get your house transformed into a home as quickly as possible. They don’t want to disrupt your day-to-day life, so they do everything they can to make sure your project is completed on-time and on-budget.
“Many homeowners are tempted to simply do the painting work themselves, but this takes up valuable free time that could be spent elsewhere,” said Jeff Walters, owner.
Walter’s Painting makes the process simple by providing free estimates and quality prep work in addition to a consultation after the first coat of paint has dried. After the project is finished, they provide a final inspection to ensure the painting job is satisfactory.
Buy with Confidence Using a Realtor®
Buying a house in today’s market is not easy to navigate. While it isn’t the frenzy experienced more recently, there is still limited inventory and often more than one buyer involved in negotiating for a property. We highly advise that you consult a local, knowledgeable professional before making any big decisions. Communicating with a realtor is the best way to work through the home-buying process. The options can be overwhelming, and local expertise is the best place to start. And even more, having realtor representation doesn’t cost a buyer anything!
Deb Wagner of Nebraska Realty (nebraskarealty.com) has been in the Real Estate business for 22 years. She’s an experienced realtor with knowledge in all aspects to guide you when it comes to buying a house, acreage and lots. Being involved for so long in the market, she knows current trends and if you’re getting the best value on your home or not.
You can have confidence that Deb will lead you through the process beginning to end, helping you choose the home and neighborhood that best suits your needs. “Every buyer is like family to me. I will never let anyone purchase a property that doesn’t fit their requirements or would not be a good investment for the future.”
Nebraska Realty is the largest independently owned Real Estate Brokerage in the state, and now the largest Real Estate office in Lincoln. They‘ve put in the time and energy to become local experts. They believe in the local nature of real estate and understand the importance of local dynamics.
When buying a house, especially if it is an older build, you should hire a licensed electrician to inspect your panel and ensure it is up to code. If anything electrical doesn’t work properly, you will want to get it fixed right away. Once it’s fixed, you can’t just forget about it, either. As a homeowner, you are now responsible for regular maintenance to ensure that any issues that compromise your house are resolved in a timely manner.
While routine maintenance on your home may seem like a chore, Oak Electric (oakelectriccompany.com) wants you to keep in mind that it is a matter of safety. There’s some maintenance that you can do yourself, making it easier to take preventative measures. One example is by checking your smoke detectors. These should be tested every six months and replaced every ten years.
In addition to smoke detectors, your electrical panel should be examined periodically. If you choose to examine it yourself, use extreme caution. Issues of concern to look for include moisture, corrosion, burn marks or melting. If you see any of these problems, contact your electrician to further investigate and take care of the matter.
The Details Matter
We all have a fairly vivid image of what our dream house looks like. When buying a house, we often let our dream vision cloud our judgment. Sometimes it isn’t about looking at what is right in front of us, but looking at what it can become. We shouldn’t say no to buying a house just because its full potential hasn’t been reached yet.
CT Construction (ctconstructionlincoln.com), currently expanding their available services, is happy to help work on the details to turn a house you like into one you love. From building decks to knocking down and rebuilding walls, CT Construction looks forward to turning the house you purchased into something you’ll never regret. They specialize in projects pertaining to bathrooms, kitchens, basements home additions, flooring install and tile.
If you are going to have to remodel the house you want to buy to love it, make sure to factor remodeling expenses into your budget. Though CT Construction will work with you on a finance plan, buying a house can be expensive enough as it is and they don’t want you to bite off more than you can chew.
Importance of Location
For some, the location of a house matters more than the house itself. For others, living in their dream house is more important than the location. For few, the location of a potential home isn’t even considered until they show up for a tour and realize what they would be signing up for. Regardless of the priority you give location in your home-buying decision, you should hire a realtor that thinks of the things you don’t. Jayson Becker with BancWise Realty (bancwise.com) understands the importance of these factors and wants to help you find your dream home while also maintaining priority on the “must-haves” list for your house.
“I strive to find the best location to accommodate commutes to school and work for families,” said Becker. “I do my best to find the balance between what clients want and what’s possible.”
With a great reputation in the Lincoln community, Jayson is happy to go above and beyond to help you buy the house that best meets your needs. He is known for being a friendly and honest family man that offers various solution options for all of your real estate problems. BancWise Realty ensures that the home-buying process is as smooth as possible.
Keeping Things Looking New with Pets
Anyone who owns or has owned a pet knows that they can do a number on a house. Whether it is old carpet or furniture or brand new, it makes little difference to our furry friends. As soon as we leave the house, their instincts and desires take over. Little do they know it’s sometimes at our expense.
If you’re worried about what your pet might do to your new house while you’re away, consider having them stay with Kenl Inn (kenl-inn.com), a family owned business that has grown, adapted and expanded to better meet the needs of your pets.
Neither dogs nor cats are ever left unattended, so you won’t have to worry about them getting enough attention when you’re gone. Set on 44 acres just outside of Lincoln, Kenl Inn is devoted to providing the best possible care for your pet. Their trained staff and state-of-the-art facilities ensure your pet receives the best possible care, whether they are staying for a day or for a week.
Insurance for the Unpredictable
One of the first things you need to do after buying a new home is get really good insurance. Especially around here where weather is unpredictable, you want to go with an insurance company that recognizes the damage that Midwestern storms can cause houses.
One Midwestern-based insurance company that comes highly recommended is Shelter Insurance (shelterinsurance.com). They have a good understanding of the storms that come through the area and will help you tackle claims from big storms.
“People are often pushed to look for the cheapest policy possible in order to keep their mortgage payments down,” explained Matthew Moorhead. “This can be a mistake. Saving a couple of hundred dollars a year on homeowners insurance can turn around and bite you when you have a claim. As with all insurance, it is important to have an educated agent who can explain what coverages you will need to fully protect your investment. You want to make sure that you have the house properly insured for total replacement cost along with replacement cost on your personal belongings.”
Shelter Insurance has a claims office right here in Lincoln as well as adjustors all across the state that work with Shelter full-time. Though there are some tempting premiums with online companies, you don’t know what kind of coverage you will actually receive. It is better to go with the local expert that cares than a cheap company that won’t fight to help you protect your new home.
Spruce Up Your New Place
When it comes to buying old houses, updates are almost always inevitable at some point in time. Though you can wait until later down the road to update your home, it can be a lot easier to have the projects completed before fully moving in. If you do it before you move all of your belongings, you won’t have to worry about shuffling stuff around for the remodeling process. Plus, you get to move into what will truly be a fresh start. To begin the journey of homeowning, we recommend hiring Remy Refinishing (remyrefinishing.com) to spruce up your new place before moving in.
Remy Refinishing can modify kitchens by adding extra cabinets, crown moldings or replacement doors. Why move all of your dishes into cabinets that are going to get replaced in the coming years anyway? You might as well go ahead and get the outdated kitchen out of the way first.
They also offer interior painting services specializing in cabinet painting. They offer paints that prevent scuffs, are antibacterial, are zero VOC and others that have various beneficial properties, so you won’t have to worry about messing up the new paint job when moving in.
With moving into a new home comes everyone wanting to see your new home all put together. According to Owner Jeremy Day, “Paint is one of the highest impact things you can do to put your best foot forward when inviting people into your home.” With that being said, what do you want your new paint job to look like?
Finding a move-in ready home is one of the leading demands of homebuyers across the board, but most prominent among millennials and people who are downsizing. As such, HOME Real Estate (homerealestate.com) Associate Pat Ohmberger claims that anything on the market for less than $200,000 that is in good condition will sell quickly. For most sellers, multiple offers will be made as soon as their home goes on the market. This can make it difficult for buyers to purchase a home they both like and can afford.
“Home buyers today are looking for flexibility, especially as they work from home,” Pat said. “They want home office space, more privacy, outdoor spaces and surfaces that require low maintenance such as wood floors, as well as new windows and as many updates as possible.”
As the search for a house becomes increasingly difficult, buyers sometimes have to shift their focus away from what they want and instead towards what they need. When working with HOME Real Estate, they make sure that you know what to expect in your search for a home. While they want to help you find your dream home, they also want you to be realistic about the home you will be able to purchase.
If you’re looking to buy a home in Lincoln, nobody is making promises that you’ll find your dream home. But, everybody is promising to give it their best shot. From buying what you want right away to working towards your dream home with updates, the professionals of Lincoln are ready to tackle whatever you throw their way!