I know I do this alot. At least a few hours of my life everyday. So how do I determine if I am going to go look at something.
Make a needs vs. wants list. This is easy. If you have to have it, then its a need. If not its a want. Alot of time I have found that wants are less specific then needs. If you have a home based business you need an office. If you have 2 children than you need three bedrooms. If you want a screened in porch, you may be happy a nice back yard that you and your family could enjoy.
Now what... Here's when it comes down to numbers. Price per squ. ft. is a great place to start, lower the better. This number will change with the types of homes you are looking at. Waterfront in Destin, Florida is around $250 and up. Some properties are under $100. Now figure out how much of that is usable. Two story home have less usable square footage due to the staircase.
Next... look throu the pictures and see if anything jumps out at you. Now really ugly properties can be gems, as long as the numbers are right. My home was pink and teal. It was really bad. My grand mother told me it was bad, but it had the layout I wanted.
Aerial photos will tell you alot about a property. Google Earth is a great tool and its FREE. I love free. Look at the lay of the land. Look for how water would drain. Neighboring properties. Rail roads. How busy is the street.
Now LOOKING for that DEAL. A Deal is simply the sell with the proper motivation. That motivation could be diffrent things, but it really does not matter. Now Go to the county official records and find out how much they borrowed against the home. Such as www.okaloosapa.com for okaloosa county. Yes you are being nosie, but knowledge is power. Make sure you check for 2nd mortgages. Now you can figure out about what he owes the bank, if the mortgage is current. This + closing cost will be the break-even point for the seller. Everything on top of that is profit. Compare that to list price andyou will find about the wiggle room for the seller.
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Barnes Real Estate Brokerage