By Marc Rasmussen – LuxurySarasotaRealEstate.com
Now is probably a pretty good time to be a home buyer. No one can tell you for sure if the real estate market has bottomed out but prices are much lower now than they were in 2005. Real estate has gone back to be a long term investment. The days are over where you can buy a house and flip it for a huge profit within a short period of time. The primary purpose of buying a home now is to have a place of your own to create memories, enjoy life, raise a family etc. The main motivation to buy should not be to get rich. Unless you like sleeping on park benches you have to live somewhere. It is just a question of whether you want to rent or own.
Here are 5 tips to finding a great home
1) Manage your expectations – We all want that $500,000 home for $300,000 but a discount like that just won’t happen (aside from the rare exception). Don’t expect to find it. A friend of mine scours my area for great deals. In the last 12 months he has purchased 2 homes. Both for around $50,000 and he flipped them for just over $100,000 each. Keep in mind though that he looks for deals all day long every day of the week. He has to sniff them out and it requires a lot of work. The real estate market is pretty efficient so properties sell for about what they are worth.
2) Be Prepared – The first thing you need to do is get prepared. Let’s say a smoking hot deal comes up and you have not been pre-approved for a mortgage and buyer #2 has arranged financing. With all else equal who do you think the seller wants to work with? Most likely buyer #2. Get pre-approved for financing or be prepared to show proof of funds.
3) Work with a great Realtor – The home buying process can be much easier if you are working with an experienced, professional Realtor. New agents that are hard working can be great to work with as well. In a nutshell don’t work with a lazy, unknowledgeable agent.
4) Learn the real estate market – When a great home at a great price comes on the market how will you know it is a great price if you do not know the market? You most likely won’t. Sit down with your Realtor, establish a budget and make a list of the neighborhoods and areas that you like best. Take a look at what is for sale in those areas as well as what has recently sold. This will give a good understand of the market. When a good deal comes on the market you can now identify that it is a good deal.
5) Be quick – Don’t assume because you read in the newspaper that the real estate market is bad that you can take your time in viewing new listings. When something comes on the market get over to look at it as fast as you can. Most sellers overprice their homes from day one but occasionally a seller is smart and prices it right on the first day. Be sure to find that seller before anyone else.
Follow these 5 tips and you stand a better chance of a finding a great home at a great price.