A home is the most expensive asset many of us will own and a large part of our retirement portfolio. So, it’s important to approach home buying in Fort Lauderdale cautiously. Here are 5 tips to consider when home buying:
1. You are making two purchases when buying a home.
Most homebuyers spend a lot of time searching for the right home and negotiating a fair price. Unfortunately the same rigor is not always applied when shopping for a mortgage. When you consider that in order to keep your mortgage payments the same, home prices must decrease by 10% for every 1% rise in interest rates, it’s easy to see how a mortgage can impact how much home you can afford.
TIP: If you can, take advantage of low interest rates, they will boost your home buying power.
2. Like people, all homes have problems.
Unfortunately some homes have more problems than others. This underlines the importance of a home inspection. Be prepared though. A good home inspector is a pessimist at heart and will usually point out all of a home’s flaws – big and small. What started out as a home that looked terrific, by the time you read in inspection report, you may think it’s a shack.
TIP: Read through the inspection report and put the flaws in perspective. If you can, negotiate with the seller for them to either make large repairs prior to closing or make a concession on the price.
3. Your real estate agent should be a partner, not a salesperson.
Simply put, your real estate agent should be focused on helping you find a great home, not selling you something. While two real estate agents might be equally good at being a partner, sometimes it comes down to finding a person with whom you connect.
TIP: Interview a few real estate agents. Be sure to ask the same questions of each so you can compare apples to apples.
4. Home buying reality shows are not reality.
Your typical home buying reality television show generally has a home buyer looking at three properties over the span of a couple of days. Before you know it, they purchased the home, moved in and are baking cookies. The truth is these shows typically film hundreds of hours of footage over many months, which is edited down to a 16 minute show (not including the commercials).
TIP: Remember your real estate agent is your partner. Ask your agent questions about the market to help set your expectations on items like demand, timeline and market conditions.
5. Think about resale.
The typical homeowners stays in their “dream home” for about five to seven years. When it comes to choosing a home or making improvements, it is helpful to think how the factors will impact resale.
TIP: The most important factor for resale is location, location, location!
The bottom line
Home buying is something most of us will do at least once in our lives. Save yourself the trouble of making the same mistakes that many home buyers make. Take these 5 tips into consideration when home buying. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you do.