Many home owners today are selling their homes because of financial considerations. What was once a robust economy has certainly taken a hit in the past several years. While the future looks better, many are still trying to regain their financial footing.
For many buyers today, they are looking at homes carefully. Here is some advice I can give so that when you purchase a home, you have a better chance of keeping it:
1. Don’t attend goofy seminars that promise you the world:
When buying a home, it’s really simple. You save money, put down a deposit on a home you can afford, then make payments. It’s not about attending lectures or workshops from so-called experts who can get you something for nothing. Stay away from those that promise “no money down.” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Don’t choose an agent that is not highly referred.
Despite what you may think, not all real estate agents are the same. There are those that are committed to the business and go over and beyond, and there are those that simply phone it in. It ‘s the same in any profession, but when someone is representing you in one of the most expensive transactions you will ever make, do you really want someone who doesn’t have the experience or the know how?
3. Don’t wipe out entire savings:
Don’t go broke buying a home. You need to have money left over for emergencies. What if you lose your job? Or need to take a pay cut? What if your roof starts leaking? There will be times you will need to dip into your savings. Everyone always sleeps easier when they know they have some money in the bank.
4. Don’t ignore professionals:
Take the advice of mortgage, real estate, inspectors and appraisers and listen to what they have to say. If an inspector is telling you that your home will have major repairs in the next few years, don’t refuse his or her advice. You may love the home now, but in a few years when these repairs are needed, you may not love it so much or be unable to afford it. If your real estate agent is telling you that a home is overpriced, take their word for it and ask to see comps. Ask questions and do your research. If you are unsure of anything, remind yourself that is why you have a team of professionals around you.
5. Don’t do questionable financing:
This is what got many buyers in trouble the last eight or so years. Many of this deals will have a lower monthly payment, but then stick it to you later on. Again, go to a reputable bank and speak with a loan officer. Get pre-approved before you start looking at homes. If you are unsure what lender to select, talk to your real estate agent and ask for their top three recommendations. Do your research and meet with a financial advisor if you still have questions. Again, this may be the most expensive financial decision you make, so do it right.
6. Don’t pick the wrong neighbourhood!
Many buyers, especially first time buyers, are trying to get into real estate and will do anything to buy a home just to get their foot in the door. But again, location is everything. You want to buy the cheapest home in the best neighbourhood rather than the most expensive home in the worst neighbourhood. For resale purposes only (not to mention the many other drawbacks), buy a home where you can live for several years and sell more quickly and at a higher profit than for those more undesirable homes that often sit on the market for long periods of time.
7. Don’t choose the most expensive home!
Once again, as mentioned above, don’t buy the most expensive home and largest home on the block that you are pre-qualified for. It’s surprising how many buy these homes just for bragging rights. If a home is at the very top of your budget, enough where you may have some sleepless night, yet you love all of the bells and whistles, then you may be only a few payments away from losing it if an emergency happens. Select homes that are reasonable within your budget. A word of advice: If you are qualified for $300,000, then start looking at $200,000 homes. If you can’t find what you want, then increase your budget by $20,000. Just don’t go over, unless you find a very motivated seller.
Remember, things happen. When looking for homes, go through all sorts of scenarios to determine if something unforeseeable happens, you can hang on to your property.