Eleven Clever Tips for Home Buyers

To help yourself find a great home, keep these suggestions handy. They'll help you avoid landing in the wrong spot, and you might even wind up with your dream home.

1. Get what you're after, not what they're selling you.

Spell out exactly what you need. Now spell out what you want. Make a list of matches. What's realistic in your price range?

2. Hit the road.

Give the house a test drive. Try your potential new commute in rush hour. How's the traffic?

3. Take the temperature.

Show up in the area at different times of day. Is it peaceful or is it hopping with activity?

4. Get the scoop.

Talk to the neighbors. How's the phone service? The power? The cable? The community?

5. Check the weather.

Ask the neighbors what happened in the last big storm. You can also check weather report archives online. How are the winter storms there? Does it ever flood?

6. Beware of financial gremlins.

Keep asking questions about items that could impact your bottom line. How much is the gas and electric? Are there homeowner's fees? How old is the roof? The air conditioner?

7. Call for reinforcements.

Bring a friend or relative to see it. Act like you're on the fence. Ask them to tell you what they think.

8. Put your budget to the test.

Estimate how much home you can afford. Now cut your household income in half. What does the emergency budget look like? Could you handle it?

9. Supersize it.

Imagine that you've moved in, and want to renovate. How much would that cost? When would you be able to afford it?

10. Take a time-out.

Sleep on it before making an offer. Decisions made in the heat of the moment may later lead to buyer's remorse.

11. Figure out what you'll need to buy after you move in.

Are you going to need new couches and a dining room table? What's your price range for furniture? No matter what you choose, make sure you never go beyond your budget.

Keep it up. You're getting smarter about home buying.

Related topics

How Long Does It Take to Get a Mortgage?  (Article)

With the right preparation, you can have your mortgage loan in as little as one month.

The Pros and Cons of Owning a Home  (Article)

Before buying a home, think about how it will impact your financial situation and lifestyle.

What Steps Should I Take to Buy a Home?  (Article)

See the big picture of buying a home, from prequalification to closing.

Your Mortgage Checklist  (Article)

Gather what you need in advance to save time during the BB&T mortgage process.

Loans, lines of credit and credit cards are subject to credit approval.

All BB&T mortgage professionals are registered on the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS), which promotes uniformity and transparency throughout the residential real estate industry. Search the NMLS Registry.

Branch Banking and Trust Company is a Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender. 

Branch Banking and Trust Company is now Truist Bank. Learn more.

BB&T and SunTrust have merged to become Truist. Both institutions will continue to offer independent product lines for a period of time. This may include differing underwriting guidelines, product features, terms, fees and pricing. Our friendly teammates at your local SunTrust branches will be happy to walk you through their respective products. You can also learn more by contacting them at 800-SUNTRUST or SunTrust.com.

BB&T Complete Client Protection

about Truist Bank