- Keep Your Money Where It Is
- Do NOT make any big purchases 3 to 6 months before buying a new home. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. Lenders need to see that you are reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible.
- Don’t Try to Time the Market
- The best time to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it. Trying to anticipate the housing market is impossible, as real estate is cyclical. The market goes up, then down, and back up again. Waiting for the perfect time will probably cause you to miss out
- Avoid Sleeper Costs
- Sleeper costs are the major difference between renting and homeownership. In addition to your mortgage payment, you need to be aware of other expenses such as utilities, property taxes, and homeowner-association dues. Also, be prepared to pay for maintenance, repairs, and possible property tax increases. Include sleeper costs in your budget!
- The Secret Science of Bidding
- Your opening bid should be based on two things: What you can afford and what you really believe the property is worth. Look at comparable homes in the neighborhood to see what they have gone for and get an average price per square foot.
- Sellers may be behind on their property taxes. Go to the county clerk’s office to find out. This is valuable information and gives you a great card to negotiate a good deal.
- Place your bid with an oddball number. A round number looks like every other bid that sellers are getting. When you get more specific, the sellers will think you’ve given the offer careful thought.
- Stalk the Neighborhood
- Before buying, drop by the neighborhood morning, noon, and night. You may have found the perfect home but find out the neighborhood is not for you.
- Do your regular commute from the house to make sure it is something you can deal with on a daily basis.
HGTV (2018). Retrieved from, https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/10-best-kept-secrets-for-buying-a-home.