Buyer's Advice

We see a lot of real estate transactions from this angle and there are some recurring themes.  Without being preachy, here are a few tips that may help you be a better buyer.

Buy The Real House.  Really?  Yes - the house as it is.  A lot of people don't buy the house they looked at or closed on ... they buy the house in their imagination after improvments, enhancements and a copious amount of HGTV myth and end up a little disappointed when they open their eyes to the house they just bought.

Look With Eyes That See.  Spend as much time looking over your prospective home as you did your last car.  The average for both is about thirty minutes.  Open the windows.  Look under the sinks.  Go outside and examine the brick or siding. Turn on the ceiling fans.  Take the time you need and look critically at the property, but don't be rediculous.  This is traditionally a seller's market - if you demand concessions and expect a big price moderation, expect to lose a lot of homes to more serious buyers.

Make sure you have emergency money set aside.  This is basic financial advice, but perhaps more so if you are buying property.  All houses have flaws, all insurance policies come with deductibles.  Make sure there is cash left over when you are done to turn those devasting emergencies into mere inconveniences.

Ignore the cosmetic and look at the structure.  As a home inspector, I've seen young buyers walk away from well-built, structurally superior homes in good locations with some dated appointments in favor of fresh paint and fake stone countertops in cheaply built homes in bad neighborhoods.  You can always paint, change the carpet, freshen up the cabinets or put granite on the counters.  Home improvement shows may be the worst thing that has ever happened to real estate buyers because the expectation for what people have seen is rarely within their budget.  We "only" have $185,000 for this kitchen remodel.  Right.

Use a Realtor.  This is serious business with big money at stake.  There is certainly a time and place for DIY, but buying your next home is not it.  If you wouldn't do your own plumbing or take out your own appendix, then make a smart choice and choose a professional to handle your real estate purchase.  If they aren't a REALTOR, they are just salespeople.

More content coming soon - you can always ask me questions on my Facebook page.