So you’re interested in buying a home in West Michigan? Considering putting down roots in the quaint little beach town of Grand Haven? We don’t blame you — we love it here! From the beautiful natural areas to the shops and restaurants downtown — and, of course, the Lake Michigan shoreline — West Michigan makes for a great place to live! But before you start your search, check out these seven tips to help you through the process.
How to Buy a House in Michigan: Grand Haven, Here We Come!
1. Try to Keep Stress Levels Low
With low inventory and a high volume of homebuyers, prices are high — and so is the pressure! It can be hard to find a house that you love, that you can afford, and that you’re able to snag before anyone else. There’s a lot of pressure in the market today, so it’s important to not let it get to you. Staying calm and carrying on, as they say, will help you remain focused instead of becoming overwhelmed.
2. Be Flexible
If you have your heart set on living in a certain area, but the homes are priced above your budget, you may want to consider retargeting your search. You could have better luck looking a bit outside your boundaries, a little further from your place of work, or not as close to the beach or downtown.
3. Know What You Can Afford
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps you to know just how much you can comfortably spend on a home, and this information will help you to stay within a realistic budget. It also helps show sellers that you’re not only ready and willing to buy, but actually able! With so few houses and so many competing for them, pre-approval definitely gives you a leg up on the competition.
By the way, when solidifying a budget, it’s important to keep in mind that there will be closing and other upfront costs in addition to the sale price of the home.
4. Consider Value
Sometimes taking on a lower-priced fixer-upper is worth it because once you make renovations and updates, the value of the home will likely increase. Thinking about your purchase as an investment — considering value rather than just price — can help you make a confident and wise decision.
5. Ask Questions
The more you know about the property you want to purchase, the better prepared you’ll be to take it on and the more confident you’ll be about your decision to do so. Ask about things like local laws, HOA fees, taxes, and utility rates. It’s also a good idea to get a home inspection in order to uncover any damage or safety issues that need to be addressed.
6. Think About the Season Before You Set Your Move-In Date
If at all possible, choose a move-in date outside of winter! Although West Michigan winters are absolutely beautiful, they also tend to be snowy, icy, and downright cold, especially on the lakeshore. No one wants to trudge through snow or slip on ice while carrying a heavy box with frozen hands! Make life easy on yourself by moving in during a different season.
7. Enlist in the Help of an Expert
No one knows and understands a local real estate market like a local realtor! Not only can a real estate agent find you houses that fit your criteria because they know the area so well, but they can also help you navigate everything from the pre-approval process we mentioned earlier to the closing paperwork — and there’s a lot of that!
Realtors are also great negotiators, so you can be sure to get a fair price. The bottom line is when you work with a real estate agent, you have your own personal advocate looking out for you — and in this market, that’s huge!
If you’re planning to buy in the Grand Haven, MI area, talk to the team at BlueWest. Our local realtors know the market like the back of their mitten hand, and we’re here to help you find your dream home. Give us a call or contact us online to get started today!