Purchasing a New Home?

30 May, 2012 (20:48) | Relocation | By: Keith and Mary Williams

Owning a home has always been the goal of the vast majority of the population. Despite the depressed real estate market, home ownership is still a very desirable goal. In today’s market, it is more important than ever to understand the process for buying a home.

Real estate prices have dropped substantially in the last three or four years. Supply has far exceeded demand. Foreclosures, short sales and the abundance of distressed properties have all contributed to the market price decline. Intuitively, you would think that this is a great time to be a buyer. In many cases it is. In other situations, it is not such a smart decision to buy.

Location is Everything

As any real estate broker in Columbus, Georgia will tell you, your first priority when shopping for a home is location. You can change the appearance of a home, but you can not change the neighborhood. Do your research and thoroughly check out any cities, towns or communities that you are considering. Owning a home is a major commitment. Once you sign on the bottom line and become a homeowner, you are somewhat tied to the area.

If you discover that you do not like the neighbors you will just have to make the best of the situation. If a highway is only 50 feet from your property line, expect to live with the constant road noise. While you can always sell your house, chances are you will take a substantial loss if you do not stay at least five years in the property.

Purchase Price

This is the second most important factor to consider when shopping for a home. Again, you need to know the local market and have up-to-date comparable sales data. There is no way to know for sure if home prices will continue to fall or if they are starting to recover. Even though you may be paying 30% less than the selling price of a property just 5 years ago, you may be “catching a falling arrow.”

Talking to as many industry professionals who know the local property market better than anyone and you can gain invaluable insight. They will give you reasons why prices are likely to rise or if there is more room to the down side. Using such information as well as any other information you may find from other sources, you can make an intelligent offer on a house you just might want to buy.

The House

Naturally, you will want everything to be in top condition before you move in. It pays to have a professional inspection, even on a home that is only a few years old. Have all the major systems checked and make note of any problems that need to be fixed. Minor things like a broken door knob or a leaky faucet are no big deal. A roof that will need to be replaced in a few years is a major concern.

Make your offer contingent upon the completion of all major repairs or lower your offer to allow for you to do the repairs after you buy the house. Being a good negotiator can help shave thousands off the original sales price. Do not be shy. Speak up and get the best deal you possibly can.

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