Be prepared to make your real estate purchase on your terms!
No matter what cycle the real estate is in, good houses priced right sell quickly. Buyers compete for the clean and up-to-date houses. If you are actively looking at homes to buy you owe it to yourself to be ready to strike when you find a house that meets your needs.
Being prepared will save yourself a lot of aggravation, time and money. When you do the work up-front to prepare to make the purchase you are making logical, non emotional decisions that meet your real needs. This in turn allows you to buy on your terms, not the sellers.
Spend time to consider what you want. This is less about the house and more about your needs. Before you even look at a property take the time to write out a list of the outcomes that you want to achieve from buying a house. What will buying a house do for you? What are the results you experience from buying a house?
It could be things like…
- I want more time at home (a shorter commute)
- I want a place my kids can go outside and play (a larger yard, near a park, etc.)
- I want more privacy when at home (a larger house, a basement, different floor plan)
- I want to spend less time and money on repairs (a newer house or condo)
Be sure this list is in writing and take a few days to go over it and revise it. This could take some work but it will help you select a house you can stay in for a long time. This will determine almost all the attributes of a house expect for how it looks.
Next, you need to look at your finances. You want to know what you are comfortable with in the terms of initial investment (down payment) and monthly payment if you are getting a loan. A mortgage broker is the best one to help you with that. This discussion should take place BEFORE you look at your first house. You want to determine a couple of things.
What is the mortgage amount you can qualify for?
- What is the total monthly payment you want to have?
- What down payment is required?
- What down payment am I willing and able to put down?
- What is the PURCHASE price that meets those preceding criteria? (not loan amount)
Let the mortgage lender help you with the math to get to a bottom line purchase price for the house. Ask for the cost of money so should you want to buy a property a little higher or a little lower in price you can estimate the impact on your payment. For example, $10,000 at a 4% rate costs you about $50 a month. So if you find a house you love but have to pay a little more you will know the impact on your budget. You can also use the mortgage calculator on my website to figure this out.
Now you are ALMOST ready to look. See my article on pre-qualification: http://schrothrealtygroup.com/prequalification-preapproval/
Assuming you have done your homework, have done some research and are comfortable with what is on the market that would meet your needs and have been out and seen homes for sale, you need to be ready to strike. Now I am in no way saying rush but when you are ready to buy and see what you want you need to take action. I can’t count the number of times clients have looked at a house one day and the next morning it is already under contract. Pricing is a whole other article, sometimes an aggressive offer is called for but not always! Many properties are being priced to sell from the start and they are getting offers the day they hit the market, sometime for full asking price or more!
So do the work upfront and be ahead of the curve. Save yourself a lot of time and aggravation and be able to buy a house on yours terms.
Tom Schroth, is a career agent with over 20 years helping people buy and sell their homes and has owned over a dozen homes personally including rentals, investment properties, flips and rehabs. He practices what he preaches by making real estate not just a place you call home but a wealth building investment. Tom runs the Schroth Realty Group, schrothrealtygroup.com, a team of professionals dedicated to providing real estate buyers and sellers in the metro Atlanta area an exceptional experience. His resume included hundreds of real estate transactions, a broker’s license in both Georgia and Ohio, founding a real estate company, and managing and office of one of the largest real estate networks in Atlanta. Tom Schroth also runs Whiteboard Group, a business development consultancy and coaches business owners and individuals to help them get clear on their goals and take steps to achieve them and “Perform at Their Highest Level” see: wboardgroup.com and Tom’s other blog, “Business Yoda” businessyoda.com.
Do you have house to sell? Are looking to purchase real estate? Contact Tom’s team at 888-724-7864