Whether you are buying your first home or your fifth, the process of buying a home can be an emotional, time-consuming venture. Feeling that, in the end, you made the right decision and got a good deal can make all the difference.

As with most major decisions, the amount of work and research you undertake before you start shopping can have a dramatic effect on how well you do in the end. Please read below for property buying tips, or, contact me today for more information on buying poperty on the Space Coast of Florida at: 321.914.4409. I am here to help!

 

Do you really need that backyard tennis court?

Everyone can picture their ideal home. If you haven’t

thoroughly prepared yourself prior to viewing houses,

chances are that you will find what you think is your ideal

home, and will wind up paying too much for it.

It is essential to treat the buying process in a slightly

detached manner. Those who fall in love with houses

usually pay too much.

That’s why it’s recommended that you develop a list of

needs and one of wants. When looking at houses, make

sure that they cover all of your needs – things like

adequate space, a good neighborhood, perhaps a

garage – and then have fun with items on your wants list.

Treating the process in a regimented manner will help

you to make a rational, informed decision.

 

Get Pre-Approved

Visit your lending institution prior to shopping. Be sure to

get a mortgage commitment in writing. Being preapproved

gives you a solid price range, and lets your

Realtor® and potential sellers know that you are serious

and not just a browser.

 

Get the Right People Behind You

Buying a home is a complicated process, with many

people involved. Having the right people on your side can

make a big difference. An experienced, dedicated, and

knowledgeable Realtor® can put a team of advocates,

including lenders, lawyers, home inspectors and movers,

on your side immediately.

 

Location, Location, Location

It’s still true. The desirability and resale value of your

home depend on location more than any other factor.

People want a desirable community that includes

character, quality of schools, access to work, major

transportation arteries, recreational facilities, etc.

On your viewing trips, take a careful look and ask the

following questions: How does this home compare to

others in the neighborhood? Are yards fenced? Are there

many children playing in the streets? Are the front and

back yards and the exteriors of the homes properly

maintained? The less expensive houses in a better area

tend to appreciate faster than the most expensive houses

in a less desirable area.

Additional factors that affect the property value of a home

include traffic, sounds, smells, zoning bylaws, and many

others. Be objective. Be sure you are completely satisfied

with the neighborhood. If you choose a neighborhood

with problems, you likely won’t get as much as you

hoped with it comes time to sell.

 

Communicate

The more you share with your Realtor®, the better he or

she will be able to represent you. Letting your

representative know exactly what you’re looking for, in

terms of needs/wants, price range, and location, can

eliminate unnecessary trips to unsuitable homes and that

focus can help ensure that you wind up in the right home.

 

Use Your Realtor’s® Knowledge

Your Realtor® is trained in all aspects of real estate,

including understanding supply and demand, economics,

and the neighborhoods of the city in which they practice.

A professional Realtor® can do much of the work for you,

by reviewing your needs, reviewing available properties,

and making an informed match. A comprehensive

knowledge of the available homes in your neighborhood

is one of your Realtor’s® strongest assets. With the aid of

computerized systems, a Realtor® is notified within hours

when a home becomes available.

 

Know the Seller

Understanding a seller’s reasons for moving could work to

your advantage during negotiations. For instance, a seller

who has been transferred to another city may be more

motivated to sell than someone who is still shopping for a

new home. A vacant house, or a house that has been on the

market for several months and has been reduced in price,

could also provide the opportunity for lucrative negotiations.

 

Keep it Impersonal

Conversely, information could be used to your detriment.

Information about your mortgage, size of down payment,

move-in deadline, or circumstances for buying could be used

to the seller’s benefit in negotiations. While you want your

Realtor® to know these details, maintain your poker face and

keep your cards hidden with the sellers and their agents.

 

Hire a Home Inspector

A home inspection is an inexpensive way to gain peace of

mind, and guard your pocket book. A proper inspection will

cover all areas of the house including foundation, electrical,

heating, plumbing, floors, walls, ceilings, attic, roof, siding

and trim, porches, patios, decks, garage and drainage. A

professional inspector can give you an objective view of the

property, with a written report, indicating the present

condition and items that will need repair.

 

Consider Your Future Needs

A move can be a major undertaking. Take a good look at

your current lifestyle and consider the future. Will you need

extra space for a home office, a child, or perhaps a child

moving back home? Perhaps it may be easier and less

expensive if you purchase a home that can meet these

needs now, rather than moving up to a larger home a few

years down the road.

 

Be Cautious with Fixer-Uppers

Sometimes, a fixer-upper can be purchased below

market value, and once sufficient repairs are made, can

be sold at a significant profit. However, not all fixeruppers

will bring in the profits you might expect.

Consumers often overestimate their level of dedication to

doing extensive renovation work, and underestimate the

costs associated with such work. A wall that needs to be

replaced can often lead to the discovery of faulty plumbing,

electrical, or other major undertakings. Your Realtor®

and home inspector are your best allies when it comes to

cost-benefit analyses.

 

Clarify Relationships

In any real estate transaction, be very clear about who is

working for whom, and what the relationship represents.

Unless otherwise stated, an agent represents the seller in

transactions for the sale of a home. This agent, as part of

his or her fiduciary duty, must ensure that the seller’s

(and not your) position is represented throughout the

entire process. Get a buyer’s agent on your side, or

ensure that someone is acting in your best interests.

 

Proceed Quickly

When you’re ready to buy, act. Good properties sell. This

is especially true given the current state of most real estate

markets. However, when you work with a Realtor®, you

have access to the latest technology. As part of the MLS

and Agent Handshake networks, a Realtor® has access to

properties within hours of when they are listed.

Technology works to your advantage. Many Realtors® now

have personalized websites which allow you to sign on as a

client, and receive notification of new listings via email. You

save time and effort, and you can view only those homes

that come closest to meeting your needs.

 

Pay Attention to Red Flags

When evaluating a home, be sure you know the difference

between acceptable and unacceptable problems.

Cosmetic items like peeling paint, worn carpeting, or

unattractive wallpaper can be easily remedied, and can be

used as negotiation items, as there will be costs involved

in updating the home.

Major problems, however, are clearly red flags. Look for

items such as major foundation cracks, water damage,

outdated electrical systems, and inadequate plumbing.

These items could be too expensive to remedy to make

the home a worthwhile investment.

 

Measure Twice, Sign Once

While you definitely want to move quickly once you’ve

made the decision to purchase, you don’t want to cave

in to pressure for a quick close. Someone who is trying

to pressure you into buying a home is likely doing so for

a reason. Make sure the reasons for you to buy a home

are your reasons, not theirs.

 

Exercise Your Negotiating Skills

Even if you prefer not to haggle, it’s worth it, especially

when it’s your home and one of your biggest investments.

Most people expect to haggle over the price. There is

always room for negotiation, and your Realtor® should be

a professional negotiator

 

Avoid Bidding Wars

In some cases, the seller’s Realtor® may use scare tactics

to rush the sale or increase the price. Falling for this trap

could cost you money. If there is another buyer, or some

other reason this pressure is being applied, whoever wins

also loses because they tend to overpay. Let reason be

your guide, not passion.

 

Get it in Writing

Legally, sellers must disclose all known material defects of

a property. Ask for this in writing. Also be sure to consider

the ramifications of these defects. Will they be costly down

the road? Are they “serious” defects?

 

Be Aware of Hidden Costs

While Realtors® often tempt first-time buyers with rent /

mortgage comparisons, there is more to a home than

simply the mortgage. You will be responsible for other

items including mortgage insurance, appraisal fees, legal

fees, inspection fees, transfer taxes, title insurance,

inspections, property tax, increased bills, etc. Your

Realtor® can give you a good idea of the costs associated

with buying a home beyond its final negotiated price.

 

Ask for a Written CMA

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is an analysis of

comparable homes in a given neighborhood. It shows you

the sale prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood,

along with asking prices of other homes in the area

currently on the market. A Realtor® can request this report

for any home and neighborhood. Ask for this report in

writing. With this valuable document, you’ll have solid,

reliable information about how fairly a home is priced

compared to its real market value.