With the rates very low and the Federal Government waving the $8000 tax credit in their faces, the first time home buyers are out in force. This is a good thing for everyone concerned with the Real Estate market.
There are certain unwritten rules that most home buyers in general like to use as a guideline while searching. I find that these rules really have no merit and sometimes stop a buyer from making an offer on a property that they like. I hope that reading this will help you with your search and keep you from missing out on a great deal.
Here are the three common rules of thumb that I often hear and have to disagree with.
- You can't make an offer on the first home that you see.-- WHY? In most cases the first few houses that you look at are the ones that best fit your original "dream house". We sit and go over what it is you want and don't want in a house and how much you want to spend and then find the active homes that best fit for you. It is this "rule" that makes you continue to look in the second and third tier of homes that might be missing a few "wants" and may have a couple of extra "don't wants". Hopefully when you realize that you liked the first house the best, it is still available.
- Banks will accept anything just to get the property off the books: This could not be farther from the truth. I have had a few recent cases where the bank has foreclosed and re listed the property higher than what the short sale agent was trying to get.
- You should never pay more than the assessed value: Cities and Town assessments are only physically done about every 5 years and even then the assessor rarely enters the property. They are however adjusted every year either up or down depending on the market. My home's assessment has gone down the last 2 years but my taxes have gone up. The appraisal that the bank will have you do, will be a much better indicator of market value because it is based soley on comparable recent sales and does not rely on public records like the assessments.
I have also put together a few tips to help you while you search.
- Always get pre approved before looking at any houses: Too often will guess what their price range is and start looking before speaking with a lender. This isn't a big deal if you guess right. If you don't, however; you could be disappointed with the properties that you see in your price range because you are comparing them to the ones that were priced higher. (request mortgage help)
- Get a copy of your credit report from the first lender that you meet with: you may even want to make sure that they will give you this before giving them permission to pull your credit. This will allow you to shop around for the best rate without having your credit pulled numerous times. Each time this is done it effects your score in a negative way. It is for this reason that you should avoid the big online loan services that just take your information and send it out to multiple lenders that all then pull your credit.
- Get on a listing alert service with a local Realtor: This system will allow you to set up a property profile and choose what Cities/Towns you are interested in. You will then receive an entire list of active listings that match your profile. Every day you will receive one e-mail alerting you to any new listings or status changes on existing ones. This is a great way to keep your eye on the market and stay ahead of the competition. If you are looking North of Boston you can feel free to use my listing update service
Again these are meant to help you with your search. The pride and accomplishment of buying a home whether it is your first or fifth, should not be out shadowed by frustration and stress. Do your homework, use professionals and don't forget great deals are made, not found! If I can be of any help to you, please don't hesitate to contact me today!