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Buying a home in Baltimore can be an very exciting event. With neighborhoods, schools, financing, home inspections, etc. to consider, it is easy though for home buyers to feel overwhelmed.

Baltimorecityrealestate.com offers a few tips to help make the Baltimore home buying experience easier and less stressful.


Area Preferences

Decide which Baltimore areas and neighborhoods interest you. Deciding where you want to live and buy a home is an important decision. Consider factors, such as proximity to your place of employment, quality of the local schools (if you have children), crime rates, resale value, transportation needs, home values, and things to do. If you are not sure which neighborhoods interest you, prepare a list of what is most important to you and consult a reputable real estate agent.

Financing

Get a copy of your credit report. There are many different types of loans designed to meet the needs of different home buyers. No matter what type of loan you are considering, all lenders will want to see your credit report. Baltimore home buyers with the best credit will get the lowest rates and most favorable terms. It is important to know what is on your credit report, so that you can fix any inaccuracies or work to remove any lingering bad marks.

How much can I afford? Another important factor to consider is how much of a house you can afford. Purchasing a home is typically the biggest purchase or investment a person will make in their lifetime. Be sure to consider not just the cost of purchasing the home (monthly payment), but also the costs of maintaining your new home. If the prospective home has been rehabbed like many Baltimore homes, be sure to consider the property taxes and how much they might increase when the city reappraises the home. As a general rule of thumb, a home buyer can afford a mortgage payment (principal, interest, insurance, taxes) equal to 28% of their gross monthly income. When combined with all other monthly expenses, the cumulative figure should not be more than 36% of gross monthly income.

Real Estate Agent

Find a reputable Baltimore real estate agent. Use of an Exclusive Buyer's Agent can potentially save both time and money. Working with a Buyers Agent does not cost the homebuyer any money. All commissions paid to the agent are the responsibility of the seller and the Buyers Agent does not get paid unless he or she finds you a home. A Buyers Agent is required to be loyal to the home buyer, and work in their best interest.

Home Inspection

Be sure to inspect the property. Many Baltimore homes were built in the 1800's or earlier and may potentially have problems that are not easily seen. Even newly constructed homes can have significant unforeseen problems. A good home inspector can help you spot any potential problem areas. Home inspections are typically inexpensive (less than $300.00). Serious defects or structural problems can cause a contract to be null and void.

Home buyers should also consider getting a termite inspector to inspect for any areas of termite infestation. If termites are found, the sellers are required to do a treatment and make any repairs.

Baltimore Home Buying Programs & Incentives

The City of Baltimore and State of Maryland have designed numerous programs and incentives to encourage home ownership. Livebaltimore.com has a complete list of incentive and programs for the Baltimore home buyer.