Are you a renter thinking about buying a home? The prospects can be daunting. It’s not the perfect solution for everyone, but in the right circumstances, buying a home can be a great move.
The age old question of should you rent or should you buy a home has no definitive answer because there are a lot of factors to consider.
However, in a lot of circumstances the answer is to buy.
Here are three big reasons in favor of buying a home:
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There is possibly nothing more important for a buyer to do after reaching a price agreement on a home than to have a home inspection.
Since it is an expense paid by the buyer, some buyers mistakenly choose not to do the inspection.
That’s a huge mistake!
An extremely important part of the home buying process is having the home inspected once you have an accepted offer.
Usually, the buyer has a time period in which to have the inspection, typically 10 days, or they lose the right to have one.
I doubt any seller, knowing a home will be inspected will try to hide something, but sometimes things are not obvious, so do not fail to have your future home inspected!
A general home inspection should be done by a certified home inspector. They will inspect:
Other types of inspections could also include:
It’s also very important that you, the buyer, attend the home inspection.
You’ll find that your inspector will guide you through the process and give you a heads up on anything he finds as well as giving you general tips on upkeep to avoid future problems.
I’ve seen cases where buyers who thought they knew what they were doing decided to not do the inspections only to find out later that they had to pay out many times more than the cost of the inspection to fix something a good inspector would have found.
I can’t emphasize enough how important i think this is.
Finding the right home and making the deal you like is not always easy but now you have an accepted offer. You’re not done yet!
Now it’s time to find out if an independent appraiser thinks your home is worth enough so that the bank gives you final approval on your loan.
The appraisal is done by an independent, state licensed, certified real estate appraiser. This means they do not work for either the bank or any real estate company. They are free of outside influences.
The appraisers job is to first, do a walk through of the property looking at things like amenities, overall condition, and anything that he thinks might have an effect on the value, whether positive or negative.
Next, the appraiser will go back to his office and look at comparative home values. These are homes within a short distance that have sold within the last six months.
Ideally, he will find at least three.
Then he will make adjustments to the comparables to insure that it is really an apples to apples comparison.
Finally, he will forward on his conclusion to the lender.
This is where the decision is made regarding the loan. If the home appraises at a value that justifies the loan, the bank will give final approval to the loan.
If it does not appraise at a value to support the loan, then there is some negotiating to be done.
Either the seller will concede on price to match the appraisal, or, if the seller refuses, the buyer must make up the difference. It’s then up to the buyer to decide if they want to go forward.
Another issue we are seeing currently, is that because of rising prices, appraisals that look at market prices too far back can cause a lower appraisal.
This is where a good real estate agent that is on top of the market really earns their commission.
Good agents can sometimes add some assistance in terms of finding recent comparables.
Finally, a word of caution. There are a number of websites that claim to be able to give you the value of a home.
They are not true appraisals. They use a software model that uses past sales, tax rates, and a few other variables. They do not know about condition and marketability which can really effect value, so sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re not.
Buyer or seller beware!
Here's the first in a series of videos that Ann and I are doing to help pass along information and give insights into the real estate business. I hope you enjoy them.
You can visit my You Tube channel and view our 100+ videos by clicking this link.
You can always count on me to do my best to give you the best information i have available, so that i can help make your real estate experience a good one.
Today, i’m going to give you 6 ways not to sell your home!
With tongue in cheek, here are 6 six things you can do to make sure your home doesn’t sell:
1. Over price your home. Almost nothing can prevent you from getting your home seen, let alone sold, than pricing it higher than comparable homes on the market. When buyers are starting their search, price is a huge criteria. If your home is over priced, it will not compare well with others at the same price and have a greatly reduced chance of selling.
2. Ignore curb appeal. Some buyers first impression of your home will be when they drive by. If you don’t regularly cut the grass, attend to the landscaping, and leave that old dead bush at the side of the house, those buyers will just keep on driving!
3. Use poor photos. With an extremely high percentage of buyers going to the internet first to see what’s on the market, you can turn them off by unprofessional looking photos. Be sure to include crooked walls, dark areas, and pictures of irrelevant things so that they’re left with the feeling that your home is not for them.
4. Place too many restrictions on showings. If you can make your home difficult to see, you insure that you won’t be bothered by too many realtors and buyers.
5. Figure that you can give something on the price instead of fixing things. Most of today’s buyers want a home they can move into and start enjoying without the prospect of numerous upgrades and repairs. If your home doesn’t look ready to sell, it won’t!
6. Choose a realtor based on a low ball commission instead of a good marketing plan. Most realtors i know work very hard for their clients. This can be a very challenging business at times, so those realtors who aren’t up to the challenge or don’t want to work hard will typically work for a lower rate. They’re depending up other realtors to do the marketing and prospecting while they wait for the business to come to them.
As i said at the beginning, this is all tongue in cheek. In fact, if you do the opposite of everything i just told you, you will have a much better chance of selling your home!
One of the first things that will happen after you have an accepted offer on your home is for the buyer to schedule a home inspection.
Almost all home buyers will want to schedule a home inspection. While you can’t get the home inspector to overlook problems you can make his job easier and help keep his attitude positive.
Here are some things you can do:
1. Don’t hide anything – if something is broken, let them know about it. If the inspector thinks you are hiding anything, he will tend to look deeper to try to find what else you may be hiding.
2. Make things accessible – in areas where clutter seems to accumulate, go ahead and either pack up or dispose of things that would prevent him from accessing things like the attic, furnace, or water heater.
3. Check all light bulbs – you don’t want the buyers to think you have an electrical problem when it’s merely a blown out bulb.
4. Keep appliances cleared. The inspector is going to test them, don’t make him move things out of the way to gain access.
5. Change the air filter in your furnace. Avoid the request to have it cleaned by a professional.
6. Identify the location of the septic system if you have one. This will help to avoid confusion and the possibility of a second trip.
7. Thoroughly clean your home. Give the home inspector a good impression so he doesn’t think he needs to dig deeper.
8. Leave instructions. You don’t want the inspector to say something doesn’t work just because he can’t figure it out.
9. Be prepared not to know how the inspection went. The inspector will tell you very little about his findings.
10. Clean your roof and gutters. Don’t give the inspector another item to put on his list.
While you can’t and shouldn’t be able to influence the inspectors findings, you can help insure that he is in a good frame of mind when he inspects your house.
While shopping for a home may seem like the correct first step, serious homebuyers need to start the process in a lender's office, not an open house.
Potential buyers benefit in several ways by consulting with a lender and obtaining a pre-approval letter.
First, they have an opportunity to discuss loan options and budgeting with the lender. It’s important for you to know your price range and be comfortable with your payment.
Second, the lender will check on your credit and alert you to any problems. If there are any glitches, you’ll have time to straighten out any issues before it causes any problems.
Third, you will learn the maximum you can borrow and have a better idea of your price range. However, you should be careful to estimate your own comfort level with a housing payment rather than immediately aiming for the top of your spending ability.
Lastly, home sellers expect all buyers to have a pre-approval letter and are more willing to negotiate with people who have proof that they can obtain financing.
By taking the time to start off the buying process properly with a loan preapproval, you’ll know you are looking in the right price range and are equipped to move quickly if you need to. By having your preapproval letter ready, you can avoid losing out on the home of your dreams.