Kalispell, Montana, has often been revered for its beautiful landscapes, outdoor activities, wonderful communities, and affordable housing market. However, no matter how amazing a community is, buying a home can be a bit overwhelming.
The key is learning how to get all of your ducks in a row, then take one step at a time to ensure you find the right house for you and your family.
Not sure where to begin? No worries!
Whether you’re new to the area or are simply looking to find a new house in your hometown, there are a few things you need to do to ensure a successful transition. We’re here to help guide you through the process.
Keep reading for our top eight steps to buying Kalispell, Montana real estate.
1. Know Your Finances
Before you start hunting for Kalispell, Montana homes, you need to look at your finances to determine what you can afford. What are you paying for your current home? Do you ever struggle to make ends meet?
If you’re looking for a more expensive home, make sure there’s room in your monthly cash flow for the larger loan payments. Use a mortgage calculator to determine your maximum budget.
You may decide that you need more wiggle room. In this case, dig deeper into your bank and credit card statements to identify areas where you can cut back to have more money for your living expenses.
2. Find Out About Your Home Loan Eligibility and Options
Next, understand that what you can afford and the home loan you’re eligible for may not be in complete alignment. If you have little or poor credit, for example, you may struggle to get approved for the loan you desire.
It’s imperative to get pre-approved for a loan before shopping for homes in Kalispell, Montana. You wouldn’t want to fall in love with a house and put an offer down only to get rejected by your lender. This is one of the most common house-hunting mistakes.
Find out what you qualify for in terms of total loan amounts, terms, and interest rates. However, you also need to decide what type of loans you want. The type of loan you get will determine the required downpayment, mortgage insurance, fluctuating or fixed interest rates, and more.
3. Understand the Costs of Homeownership
When buying a house in Kalispell, Montana, you must account for all of your costs as a homeowner. This is especially important while determining your budget.
Owning a home has multiple expenses you may not have considered. For example:
- Yearly property taxes
- Home maintenance and repair costs
- HOA fees (when applicable)
- And more
Consider these extra homeowner expenses when pricing out homes. Don’t make the mistake of spreading yourself too thin by buying a house you can barely afford. Nearly 63% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck because they make these types of mistakes.
4. Hire an Experienced Kalispell, Montana Real Estate Agent
While some people try to buy and sell homes without a real estate agent, it’s hardly recommended. As a seller, you’re likely to get less money for your home, even after you consider the money saved in realtor fees.
As a home buyer, you’ll have less access to home listings, house showings, and the vital experience and expertise that real estate agents bring to the table. This is especially important if you’re new to the area or are a first-time homebuyer.
5. Identify Your Priorities
Once you have a realtor, you need to talk to them about what you’re looking for in your next home. Make sure you consider your current needs and your needs for the future. For example, you may need to ensure there’s enough room in the house for a growing family.
How many rooms and bathrooms do you want? Do you want plenty of space for entertaining? What about outdoor living spaces?
Write down your list of priorities from most important to least important. Then, your realtor can start narrowing down your options.
6. Find the Right Location
Location is incredibly important for finding the right house for you and your family in Kalispell, Montana. You may want to find the right neighborhood based on which school district it falls under. You may also want a home closer to parks and playgrounds for your children.
While Kalispell isn’t a particularly large town, you may want a home that’s close to work to minimize your commute every day. Check out our Kalispell, Montana map to get a better idea of your ideal location.
7. Hire a Home Inspector and Appraiser
When you find a home you’re interested in, it needs to be inspected and appraised.
The home appraisal will land somewhere near the seller’s asking price. If it comes in high, the seller may decide to ask for more money. If it comes in low, you’ll have the option to lower your offer.
A professional home inspection is vital to ensure the home is in good condition without any underlying issues. If anything is uncovered during the inspection process, you and the seller can decide where to go from there. If there are major problems, it may void your offer depending on your lender’s restrictions.
8. Make an Offer and Negotiate With the Seller
Once you have the results of the inspection and the appraisal, you can make an offer to the seller. As noted above, you may have the leverage to make greater demands. If the home needs repairs, but you still want to buy it, you can propose that the seller fixes all the damages before you buy the house.
There may be some wiggle room in the price of the home, but there are other means of negotiating. For example, you can request that the seller pays both realtor fees, closing costs, and more. You can also propose that the seller leaves major appliances, decor, window treatments, etc.
Looking for a Home in Kalispell, Montana
If you’re in the market for a new home in Kalispell, Montana, we would love to help you. Check out some of the available homes and lots in Bloomstone, a new residential subdivision. Contact us today, and we’ll help you find the right home for you and your family.