Considering buying a home? Now might be the right time. With interest rates at an all-time low, and a plethora of inventory available to potential purchasers, many people are looking to take advantage of this buyer’s market. But though there seems to be an endless supply of great homes on the market, as a buyer, you still want to take careful steps to ensure the process goes without a hitch, and the home you bought is the home you thought.
The first thing to think about when purchasing a home is how long you think you will be living in that home. Growing up in
The fact is that if you can not commit to staying in a house for at least three years or more, you may want to reconsider purchasing at this time. These days, the transaction costs of buying and selling a home would cost you more in the long run. Add to that commissions to pay out, declining values, loan fees, etc, and it’s pretty much a no-win situation for that ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ investment you just made.
Hire a good real estate agent. Sure the internet has a great deal of information on the housing markets, where to buy, how much to pay, and so on, but the money spent on a professional that has your interests in mind while searching through all that inventory, will greatly reduce your workload as well. Hire an agent that has been in the business long enough to see a bad market as well. These are the guys that know where the best deals may be hiding, a connection for a great loan rate, or even knows of a home that has not yet been advertised for sale but is available to be sold. Oh, and a good real estate agent will be there every step of the way through the process, ready to deal with any hiccup that may occur during the transaction and how to deal with it.
In a good market or bad, it will significantly help your chances to land the house of your dreams if you are already pre-approved for a loan. Since lenders are being very careful with their money these days, it is going to take longer than usual to go through the loan process. No matter what people are telling you about the market, there are buyers out there. If you are in love with a house, chances are someone else is as well. Your offer will be much more appealing to a seller if you can skip the loan contingency section of the purchase agreement.
Get yourself a good home inspector. I recently needed a home inspector, but my usual guy was on vacation so I hired a guy that advertised the fact that he had an engineering degree. The report this guy produced for me was so detailed and meticulous it was frightening. He found things I thought I didn’t need to know, but he was quick to point put the importance of why I wanted to know. Keep in mind that an inspector who is familiar with the homes within the neighborhood where the proposed job is located is your best bet. My inspector happened to pint out that the home two house above ours (we were in a canyon) had retaining wall issues which could seriously impact our home should that wall fail during the next big winter storm.
Finally, keep your options open. The current housing market is creating some great deals and opening some great inventory that once could never be considered due to sky-high pricing and increasing values. Don’t succumb to buyer’s remorse, or be terribly disappointed when the home of your dream has some major issues that will cost you down the road. Remember the number one rule in real estate…don’t fall in love with the house until after you move in.