Friday, February 11, 2011

10 Great Tips When Looking for a Home to Buy

Shopping for a home can be an exhilarating or dreadful thing to do, depending on your personality. The applying for financing, the realtor's, the multiple homes to view, it's a lot of work. It's such a big decision that if done incorrectly, will have results that you must live with for a long time. I have compiled a helpful list of ten tips to get you started.

1. Never be the one who makes the first offer on a home. If the home is in your price range let someone else bid on it first. You may lose the bidding. But you will see what others think the house is worth.

2. On paper comparable houses look the same. Don't be in a hurry, because with a lengthy inspection you may find it has better views, parking or amenities. Take your time.

3.Realtors have a list of inspectors whose job it is to notice the worst details of the home. Skip the inspectors and get a seasoned building contractor who has seen it all. They will tell you where the dead bodies are buried. They have seen what damages can occur in a home and what it takes to repair them.

4. Never ever make an offer on a house that is broken or needs repairs. The seller may have the work done but will it be done correctly? There's a world of trouble that comes from shoddy work that may take months to show up.

5. The important thing when you select a house, is to be able to see what can be changed and what can't. For instance, you can change the rugs, repaint the walls, remodel bathrooms and kitchens. You can't change the road system, the neighborhood, the climate, or the schools.

6. Have a walk thru before closing. Turn on all the faucets. Check under the sinks. Turn on all appliances. The hot water heater,A/C, furnace, sump-pumps, sprinklers, etc. Do a thorough walk thru.

7. You need to look at your house closely and not get caught up in stupid things like granite counter tops or paint color. Look at doors and trim to see if they are cheap or solid, fixtures, kitchen drawers, closet space. Does the basement seem musty? Really take your time to look at the house you are buying.

8. Make sure that you really want to be a homeowner, especially of a house. There are hours of raking, painting, and other maintenance issues, plus no super to call when things break (and they will break). Owning a house takes more time, energy, and money than you expect.

9. Ask your homeowner friends for a list of expenses, so you know what you are getting into. Consider both ongoing expenses and big things out of nowhere like the roof needing replacing. Expect one big thing a year. Consider utilities, insurance, property tax, any assessments such as for sewers.

10. Spend some time in the neighborhood in the daytime and at night during the week and on weekends. Perhaps there is an incredibly noisy bar around the corner or a neighbor who plays his stereo at 2 am. Or neon signs that blink into the windows all night.

Spending some extra time, it will give you the confidence you are making the right decision.

Use these tips to access the compatibility of the home to your life style. Don't have house fever. People get caught up in the process. Remember take your time.

1 comment:

  1. Go with the inspector, ask questions. Try to chat up with the neighbors if possible.

    And please don't fall in love with any house and get emotional with bidding! There are always better homes out there!


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