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Financial Freedom: 6 Questions Before Shopping for a Home

Posted: 04/12/13 10:00 AM (Modified: 04/13/13 5:21 PM)


Are you excited about the thought of buying a home? Great! But put that excitement away for now. I have asked Consumer Advocate Remar Sutton to give us some tips on home buying to save the most money.  Mr. Sutton has appeared on 60 Minutes, TODAY, Dateline NBC, CBS, CNN and 20-20. His advice has been featured in hundreds of publications nationally.  Sutton is an independent Consumer Advocate for TTCU.   

His first piece of advice is to ask yourself the following six questions before you even look at a picture of a house:

Should you buy, or keep renting?   Asking a seller that question can get you in trouble a lot of the time.  

How do you know if you have the credit to get a mortgage that really makes sense?  Getting “prequalified” for a mortgage means nothing.  Getting approved for the wrong mortgage means disaster.

How do you know what you can really afford in a mortgage? The mortgage payment is just the beginning!  How do you budget for insurance, and increases in utilities, taxes and repairs?

How do you know if a mortgage is really the best one for you?   “Guaranteed cheapest” mortgage advertisements don’t mean much.  Online mortgages can look great and be rotten.

How do you actually know you’ve found the right neighborhood?  Did you go there at different times of the day? Traffic changes during the day. What happens if you buy a great home in a cool neighborhood, only to find out the neighborhood next door is going commercial?  What happened?

How do you actually know if a house is right for you?  Were you planning on counting electrical outlets? Are the closets big enough?  What do you do if they aren’t?

Wait a minute!  You may ask, "Isn’t a real estate agent going to handle all those questions for me?" A good real estate agent can be a huge help, but you—personally—need to do a lot of homework before you choose that agent. 

TTCU wants to make you a more savvy homebuyer and has developed TTCU’s homebuying guide. The FREE online guide deals with the questions just asked and more.  This guide isn’t a sales pitch, either. Whether or not you ever get a mortgage with TTCU, you should use it.  It costs nothing and is tough as nails.   

What to do now:  First, check out these videos.  

This video walks you through the guide and explains how it can help you:  


I like this video that illustrates the importance of getting title insurance when you get your mortgage:


Then, start working through the home buying guide online.

Lastly, take your time.  Speed in the homebuying process virtually always leads to trouble and grief.

Thanks to TTCU for sponsoring these tips.

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