10 thing to know when buying a home

1. Don’t buy if you can’t stay put.

If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner – even in a rising market. When prices are falling, it’s an even worse proposition.

2. Buy in a district with good schools.

In most areas, this advice applies even if you don’t have school-age children. Reason: When it comes time to sell, you’ll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values.

3. Get professional help.

Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. Look for an exclusive buyer agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

4. Do your homework before bidding.

Your opening bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the neighborhood. So before making it, consider sales of similar homes in the last three months. If homes have recently sold at 5 percent less than the asking price, you should make a bid that’s about eight to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.

5-Cosmetics. Don’t wave off a house simply because you detest its wallpaper or paint color or carpeting. Such features are purely cosmetic and can easily be changed.

6-Structure. On the other hand, consider very carefully if you wish to purchase a house with a cracked foundation, old furnace, or crumbling retaining walls. All of these items will cost a bundle to fix and/or replace, and the money spent for such “maintenance” will never be returned to you when you eventually sell the house.

7Neighbors. Buying a house is not like moving into an apartment where neighbors are evicted or move out every few years. As a homeowner, you could be stuck with your neighbors for 10, 20, or even 50 years. If at all possible, find out about the neighbors that are living next door to the house you are inspecting. For all you know, there could be a good reason why the current house is up for sale.

8-Neighborhood. The house you are looking at may be located in a perfectly safe neighborhood- until you look three blocks away and see boarded up shacks and street gangs. Don’t just focus on the immediate surroundings of your house, but also on the areas lying beyond it. Oftentimes, there are pockets of well cared for homes that are surrounded (and eventually swallowed up) by bad neighborhoods.

© 2023 by Lawyer & Lawyer.

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