Five Strategies for Buying Smart in Today’s Real Estate Market
- Run the Numbers
It’s important when searching for a home, that you establish a clear budget. Developing a budget before you begin looking will help you maintain realistic expectations when you begin your search. Consider how much you will be able to put down, how much utilities will increase/decrease, and what current interest rates are. Also consider how your new location, will affect your overall gas budget each month. Develop a price range and stick with it.
- Choose an Experienced and Knowledgeable Agent
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make. Choosing the right Real Estate Agent is crucial to your home search. Your REALTOR® will be your representative throughout your transaction. They will negotiate on your behalf, handle all home buying paperwork and deadlines, as well as coordinate the parties involved in the transaction. Choose a REALTOR® who is knowledgeable in the local area and knows current market trends, school ratings, and neighborhood information. It is the agent’s job to make sure you don’t overpay for a home, and get the best value for your dollar.
- Choose your Lender Wisely
Over the past several years the mortgage lending industry has changed drastically. Home loans are much more difficult to obtain. Pick a reliable lender who will work diligently to best achieve your financial goals; one who is accessible and will work hard to meet deadlines. One of the best things you can do when starting a search for a home is to obtain a pre-approval letter. Pre-approval letters show sellers that you are serious, and give you leverage when negotiating or when you are involved in a multiple offer situation.
- Emotion vs. Reason
Buying a home is a very emotional process. This can lead to many common mistakes buyers make. When you become emotionally attached to a house it can be very easy to overlook flaws with the home, rush into making an offer, or making an offer that’s too high. Real Estate agents are there to assist and provide unbiased advice and opinions.
- Rely on Your Team During Inspections
Inspections can be one of the most stressful parts of a real estate transaction. It’s important to always choose an inspector that has your best interest in mind. This may mean spending a little bit more money to have one done, even if the seller has already provided one. Rely on your Real Estate agent to help you work through items that are functioning as intended verses items that are actually in need of repair because they’re not functioning properly or are a safety concern.
Brenda Blaser, Realtor