The real estate market is in shambles in many parts of the country. Home prices have never dropped this much. Sellers have been hit hard over the last 5 years. Despite all of the blood in the streets it might be the perfect time to be a homebuyer.
Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “Be fearful when everyone is greedy and be greedy when everyone is fearful.” Buying a home is a big decision. You are signing up for a long-term commitment when you purchase real estate. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a little cautious. You may not need to find a home within the next 30 days but you also do not want to be one of those home buyers that can never make a decision. I am a Sarasota Realtor and have had many clients search years for a home ultimately to never buy one. Usually, if you cannot find a home within a few months you are probably unrealistic, have paralysis of analysis, are afraid to make a mistake or simply just scared of commitment. Here are 5 tips to help you from becoming a lifelong home searcher.
1) Hire good help
If you get sued you hire a good attorney. If you have heart surgery you hire a good doctor. If you need retirement advice you hire a good financing advisor. Since you are about to embark on one of your largest financial transaction isn’t it smart to hire an experienced and qualified Realtor?
Unfortunately, getting a real estate license is not that hard. So many people have them but very few of them treat it like an actual business. Do you really want to entrust your largest financial transaction with someone who does it in his/her spare time?
2) Establish Your Needs and Wants
If you have a family of five with a large dog and cat should you really be looking at that 2 bedroom condo on the beach? Probably not. Sit down with all of the decision makers and write down the things you would like to have and then write down the things you must have. Knowing what you want and need is a crucial first step. It will save you tons of time and wasted energy if you actually look at property that suits your needs and wants.
3) Figure Out How To Pay For It
Don’t go out looking at $500,000 homes when it reality you can only afford one for $350,000. If you are paying cash this step is obviously relatively easy. If you need to borrow money then get this step out of the way before you view homes.
Lending has changed over the last 5 years. Back in 2003 to 2005 anyone that could fog a mirror could borrow money for a home purchase. Now, things are different. You need to be able to prove that you can pay the money back.
As a Sarasota Realtor I am contacted all of the time by people who want to immediately hop in the car and start looking at real estate. They want to figure out how to pay for it later and just assume that a bank will lend them money. Unless you can pay cash you need to arrange financing first before you spend a lot of time and energy. Your real estate agent, the listing Realtor and home seller will appreciate it.
4) Learn the market
Before you can make a very large financial decision it helps to have some market knowledge. Sit down with your Realtor with your list of needs, wants and budget and then figure out the very best neighborhoods. Have your agent set you up on an automated email system so you receive an email when a home sells, goes under contract or comes on the market in the areas that you are focusing on. Seeing what other people are willing to pay will help you figure out what you will probably need to pay.
If you have chosen the Harbor Acres neighborhood and everything in there is selling from $400,000 to $1,000,000 then you will probably need to spend that amount to buy a home there. Trying to find something there for $200,000 is probably a tremendous waste of time
Most people need a dose of realism when it comes to buying a home. You have to be realistic now or later. Don’t expect to find a seller willing to let his home go for $250,000 when it is really worth $500,000. Sellers typically always want more than their home is really worth. It is next to find impossible to find one willing to sell it below for a large discount from appraised value.
Don’t waste your time looking for the deal that will never be. This sort of thinking prevents people from buying. They are always looking but will never purchase unless they accept reality. The real estate remains to be pretty efficient.
5) Get in the Car
You have made a list of your needs and wants. You hire a fantastic Realtor. You have figured out your budget and have either been pre-approved for a mortgage or have set aside funds. Finally, you are realistic and up to speed on the real estate market. Now it is time to start looking at homes. It is pretty much that simple.
Purchasing a home can be daunting. However, if you are organized, prepared and knowledgeable then you can find a fabulous home within a short amount of time. Following these 5 home buying tips and you can be enjoying your new home in no time.