f you ask a Beacon Hill homeowner or Midtown high rise condo owner what it was like to buy their last condominium, they’ll probably mention a few things they’d change if they could do it all again. While it’s impossible to know everything about the downtown Boston real estate home-buying process beforehand, you can still prepare yourself for what errors others committed—and figure out how to avoid some potential pitfalls. Not sure where to begin? Here are some key pointers to keep in mind before starting your Boston real estate for sale search.

You’re Buying Both a Condo and into a Neighborhood

We all know the phrase “love at first sight,” and it can certainly apply to downtown Boston real estate. Before you fall in love with a condo, it’s crucial to step back and consider the whole picture before making an Offer.

When you purchase downtown Boston real estate, you’re investing in more than just four walls. It’s worth paying attention to things like the neighborhood. Even if you fall in love with the open floor concept you’ve dreamed of, it might not be the right fit if it’s in the wrong street or neighborhood or if the rest of the condominium requires out-of-budget repairs. It’s best to stay realistic and listen to your agent’s (and home inspector’s) advice. Remember, this is likely one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make.

Down Payments Are Different for Everyone

So many would-be Boston real estate for sale buyers are scared of home ownership for one reason: the down payment. Traditionally, you’d put down around 20% on a home and spend anywhere from 10 to 30 years paying your lender back. However, you actually have more flexibility than you might expect. 

Depending on your credit history, location, and occupation, you could be eligible for loans that require as little as 3% down. Be sure to shop around for the right fit and reach out to your mortgage broker or bank representative with any questions—they’re always available to help you out.

Prepare for Extra Expenses

owning Boston real estate for sale often comes with unexpected expenses, especially right after you move in. When you’re setting a budget for your big purchase, consider adding some wiggle room to allow for any additional and long term costs.  

Get Pre-Approved Before You Start Searching

Once you’ve made the decision to buy downtown Boston condo, it’s tempting to start looking at listings right away. However, you might want to press pause and complete an essential step before you start scheduling showings. Getting pre-approved for your loan will show sellers and agents that you’re serious about buying.

Ready to start the pre-approval process? First, you’ll want to get your finances in order and shop around for the right lender. Be sure to have all of your important documents on hand, such as your W-2 tax form, pay stubs, and social security card. 

Don’t Answer Questions From The Seller’s Agent About Your Situation or Motivation

If you’re looking at Boston downtown real estate, the seller’s agent will typically be present when you visit a home for sale. You will encounter varying levels of questioning trying to determine your situation and level of interest.

I worked with a couple moving from the suburbs into the city. Since seller agents are rarely at showings in the suburbs my buyers weren’t used to having an agent representing the seller present while they viewed a home and didn’t like the idea. I prepared them ahead of time that they might get anywhere from a few to several questions from the sellers’ agents. At one showing an assistant of a big name agent was present. He bombarded my buyers with questions.

How long have you been shopping for a home?

Why are you looking for a home?

Are you looking at other Boston condos today?

Where are you moving from?

Is this space big enough for you?

What do you think of the home?

My buyers ignored every question! Not answering a question that reveals your situation or motivation isn’t being rude. It’s being a smart negotiator. If you aren’t comfortable ignoring a question, smile at the seller agent and ask them a question.

Are You a Boston Condo Buyer?

Buying downtown Boston condo is a large investment, and it’s important to have the right agent by your side throughout the process. If you’re ready to start your search, feel free to reach out to us with any questions. 

Boston Real Estate for Sale

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