How to buy a house without headaches
Home might be where the heart is, but the house-buying process can easily become a headache. To keep hassles to a minimum, take time to independently evaluate each professional you'll need, from lender to real estate agent to home inspector to title agent. Choose client-focused, experienced pros who are appropriately licensed.
Mortgage lender. Before you start looking at homes, find a reliable lender to pre-approve financing. This is especially important now, given more stringent government regulation of home financing. Seek a responsive bank or mortgage professional who keeps the terms of the agreement consistent, or gives fair warning of changes, and who communicates well so that paperwork flows in a timely way.
Real estate agent. Look for agents who'll communicate with you promptly throughout the process. Avoid an agent who steers you only to his or her own listings or those of the company. Be wary of hiring relatives or friends with limited experience or agents who work only part time. Confirm that an agent is properly licensed and in good professional standing. If you end up under contract with an agent you're unhappy with, ask to be released from the arrangement. If that fails, consider asking an experienced local real estate attorney for advice.
Home inspector. Look for inspectors who go beyond state regulatory requirements, receive continued education and belong to a professional organization, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors. Be sure to schedule an inspection early enough in the process that there's time to deal with repair issues or other problems.
Title agent. Lenders or real estate agents may recommend title companies, but to avoid hiring someone with a conflict of interest, be sure to ask about affiliations between parties. Also, inquire about licensing, which is required for title agents in all states, and request a full list of charges.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Komen acceptance of drilling-linked money raises ire
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Corbett, Wolf resort to sticks, stones to attract attention
- Critics claim state Attorney General Kane puts politics first
- Lower Burrell man charged with shoplifting
- DEP orders cleanup of former Jeannette Glass property to resume
- Freeport man accused of having child pornography images
- New Kensington to convert tennis courts to dek hockey rink
- Fire at Flight 93 National Memorial hints at struggle to safeguard historic artifacts
- Zappala impersonation suspect arrested; stores offered reimbursement