5 Things Every Homebuyer Should Know
Here are five things every homebuyer should know. This homebuyer insider information includes sure fire ways to make a better buying decision.
LEARN THE NEIGHBORHOOD & SURF THE WEB. Every homebuyer should know using the internet can save a lot of time and effort in your house hunting. Pick out a neighborhood you are interested in and get to know the nitty gritty of the market through online listings. Realtor.com is the nation’s largest real estate database, and you will find most homes now on the market listed there. Zillow and Trulia are other sources of house listing information available on the web. If you are in the Atlanta area, www.englishteam.com has tons of information every homebuyer should know (and sellers too).
MORTAGE LOAN WITH A PERSON, NOT THE WEB: A Wall Street Journal article (Popular Mortgage Website Under Scrutiny) reported that a former advertiser on www.bancrate.comhas filed suit against the internet portal owner, Bankrate, Inc. for what it calls “bait and switch” loan offers by some advertisers on one the nation’s premier internet mortgage loan information web sites.
In the lawsuit, the former advertiser alleges some lender advertisers dangle below market interest rate mortgage loans in their advertising on the bancrate website and then fail to deliver this product to the consumer. What real estate agents have long known is that this “bait and switch” type tactic is not disclosed to the consumer until just before closing.
Waiting until just before closing to disclose the much-higher-than-expected interest rate on the mortgage loan leaves the buyer with few or no alternatives but to go ahead and sign the papers, paying more than they should for the mortgage loan. This is one of the sad stories in the every homebuyer should know chronicle as we have had several clients lose houses because of their insistence on using Internet lenders. Penny wise but pound foolish!
KNOW ABOUT BACK-UP CONTRACTS: Buyers occasionally find the perfect home, only to learn that the home is under contract to another buyer. If you find yourself in this position, do not despair. Make a back up offer, which would only be activated if the first buyer in line fails to consummate the sale.
Because it has become more common for contracts to fall apart during the inspection period, a “back up” buyer could find themselves a primary buyer in more than a few cases. Added to this incentive is a seller’s natural willingness to be more lenient in a back up contract than they would normally be in a primary contract. Many sellers have already made their moving plans, contracted to buy a new home etc. They would love to have some “insurance” that their home will close. Your back up contract could be just the ticket. This homebuyer insider top tip on the every homebuyer should know list.
DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN “PEOPLE” DEALS & HOUSE DEALS: Buyers shopping for value-driven deals should look for houses where people have a specific incentive to sell their home quickly. These “people” driven deals usually include a change in life such as divorce, job transfer, death, or some other unexpected change in family circumstances. These owners have a legitimate reason to sell their home quickly and are willing to discount the price of their home to do so. Foreclosures and short sales fall into this category.
Less attractive are the deals where it’s not the people that have problems, but the house itself. Unless you are an expert, buyers should avoid foundation and water problems in a home. And, bad locations can not be improved no matter how great the cosmetic improvements to the home. Every homebuyer should know this but emotions sometimes rule our actions and bad decisions get made.
APPRECIATE THE ENJOYMENT OF A HOME TOO: Change your perspective a little. Try to enjoy the appreciation in quality of life a home can bring you, in addition to appreciation in value as you seek to purchase a home. Americans were guilty of assuming that a 5 to 10 percent annual increase in the value of our home was a God-given right. We have learned in a painful manner that this is not true. Appreciation seems to be an antiquated concept and most economists do not expect appreciated of single family residences to ever return to their formerly lofty heights. Housing investments are still a good deal and buyers should consider the appreciation they will experience in quality of life as well as the financial security, after a huge market correction, of their investment when buying a home.
5 things every homebuyer should know is provided by Atlanta real estate agent Sally English who has assisted hundreds of Atlanta homebuyers as they navigated house listing in the Atlanta real estate market.