|12 Step Guide to Buying Your Home||Additional Costs When Buying a Home||Government Programs for Buyers|
|Buying Strategies||House Hunting Checklist||Calculators|
|Dream Home Checklist||Buying the Best House||Title Insurance|
In a perfect world, it would be easy to always be objective and make rational decisions based on sound information. In reality, emotions and timing often have a big effect. Sometimes the best you can do is to set the stage so that you minimize the subjective influences.
Give yourself power and control. Don't find yourself in the position of "having" to buy and doing so in haste.
1 - Work out the finances first. Paying cash? Getting a mortgage? Find out what you can afford and check out all your various options.
Meet with whatever experts you need to in order to have all your facts - a lender, your tax advisor, etc. Knowing exactly what you want to spend and can spend will eliminate time spent looking at properties you can't have.
Not only that, when you find the right property you can make a "clean" offer without a financing contingency. Sellers are more likely to respond favorably to clean offers.
2 - Unless you really want to own two properties, sell first. Then buy. First of all, the property you want will probably not take a contingency offer. So unless you are prepared to own both (and you have to plan for a worst case scenario) you are wasting your time with the offer.
Second, if you are emotionally attached to what you want to buy you won't be as objective on selling your home. You may take less than it's worth so that you don't lose the other home. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you understand the financial implications.
3 - Use a realtor who knows the market. That may sound too simple in this age of the internet, when buyers have access to the same data the agent has. The difference is the ability to interpret that data.
Full-time realtors do more than show homes and write contracts. They study market trends and observe area fluctuations. You are thinking about your needs now. But your agent is thinking about both now and in the future when you are ready to sell again and looking for your future resale opportunities.
In addition, the internet is an increasingly non-objective source of information.
Many websites do not display all the properties that are for sale in a given area because of contractual conflicts. And most new communities are not listed at all in any search vehicle. A professional realtor should be able to show you all the homes that fit your needs.
4 - Wait till your toes curl. In other words, don't get pressured into making a decision. When you find the right home you will know it (your toes will curl or the little hairs on the back of your neck will stand up). That doesn't mean look at 200 homes before you make a decision. Sometimes it's the first home you see. But don't let an agent, a seller, or a spouse, push you into something you don't feel good about.
5 - You can't have it all. Decide what is most important in your next home and put it into perspective. If it's location, or price, or view, or square footage, or school districts, or amenities, or whatever.
Remember that some things can be changed. Floors, kitchens, landscaping, etc. are all changeable. So if they are not perfect, they can be. But location, view, amenities, etc. are there forever.
No matter what your budget, the good fairy of real estate did not go - poof! There it is. It simply doesn't happen. Everyone has to make compromises. So decide what truly matters to you and put that at the top of your list. Give in on what doesn't matter as much.
Follow these guidelines and you'll get the home you desire.