Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Guide For First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a first new home is a big step in anyone’s life and the process can initially seem like an extremely daunting task. With all of the information available, advice to be learned from and realtors to choose from, it can certainly seem like an insurmountable mountain of information.

While that may initially be true, there are some steps that you can take that will help you cut through all of that and avoid information overload. The new home buying process is an exciting one and while there are certainly many things to think about, they shouldn’t detract from the experience.

Use The Web
Online resources, much like this site, can help you do a great amount of research into a home or area without ever leaving the comfort of your favorite chair. No matter what area you’re looking to purchase real estate in, there are undoubtedly many online resources concerning that area. Everything from county governments to local realtors provide handy region-specific tips and tricks that might help you in your search for a new home.

While your realtor will help you with a lot of the information about home prices in the area you’re investigating and other related bits of information, it can also be empowering to take a hold of the situation and find the kind of applicable information you’re looking for yourself. Anything that helps you get comfortable with the home buying process is a benefit.

Know Your Limits
There are a variety of ways to get frustrated during the home buying process and perhaps chief of all of them is pursuing a home that you simply cannot afford. Every step of the process, from convincing a realtor to show you an expensive property to getting financial backing for a piece of real estate outside your income viability, makes the process more difficult and will ultimately discourage you about the home buying process.

Yes, we would all like to have our first home be the perfect combination of location, size and amenities but many times it is not realistic to purchase a 10-bedroom estate with a first home purchase. If you have an accurate view of what you can afford, it will ease the entire process as your realtor will show you nothing but realistic homes, of which you will almost certainly find one you’ll love for a first piece of real estate.

Use Your Home Inspection Right
While in many areas, home inspections are an accepted part of the home buying process, there are parts of the country that have hot real estate markets that perhaps move quickly and don’t always incorporate home inspections into the process. Nothing has the potential to blunt your enthusiasm over a new home purchase like problems that could be inherited along with a new home.

Home inspections will often go through the health of a home’s furnace, roof and foundation to give you an accurate description of just what kind of state a home is in. Take advantage of that and don’t be surprised after a home purchase with problems you’ll immediately have to deal with.

How Motivated Is Your Seller?

When purchase prices for homes escalate into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes a $10,000 difference in an offer price can seem like a small variation, but $10,000 is $10,000. As you go through the process of making mortgage payments, you will no doubt wish you could shave a few months off of your payment term, which is exactly what shaving $10,000 or more will net you.

One of the prime ways of doing so is to locate a seller that is truly motivated to sell a property, sometimes at a minor expense in return for a speedy, smooth transaction. Making low offers is something all realtors have probably done in the past, though it can sometimes seem like a slap in the face to send a below-list offer.

The prospect of saving $10,000 or more should take that embarrassment out of the equation and motivate you to explore all avenues for saving money. There are a few ways to spot motivated sellers that might be more apt to accept an offer below list price than they otherwise would.

Everyone Sells For A Reason
One of the best ways to investigate the motives of your seller is to simply ask. That might seem like a common sense approach, but people often go through entire real estate transactions without asking even the most simple questions about who they are purchasing a very expensive item from.

Your realtor or the seller’s realtor may have that kind of information at hand and while they might have reason to guard it, more often than not they will make polite conversation about what a seller’s plans are. At open houses especially, realtors may make the effort to chat with you, sometimes answering such questions, in hopes of getting you interested in the property. Let that eagerness work for you and get the information you need that might help you.

There are quite a few situations that might result in a motivated seller, but perhaps the most common are relocations, divorces and financial troubles. As you can imagine, if a seller is involved in any of these three situations, it is probable that speed is an issue and sometimes that speed is worth a bit of a discount on the list price of the real estate property.

Relocations especially can split a seller’s attention between two locations, greatly motivating the seller to quickly get rid of an old property to focus on a new one. That split focus can be your gain with a big of a discounted offer that nonetheless represents a quick chance to be done with the real estate.

Each Property Has Its Own Traits
More than just investigating a seller, you can investigate a particular property as well to perhaps indicate a seller that is tired of a particular piece of real estate. For example, properties that are not kept up as well, rental properties especially, could indicate that a seller is tired of dealing with a property and is more motivated to sell quickly, even if at a small discount.

If you want to go the extra mile and go through county tax records, it is entirely possible to find properties where sellers have home addresses far away from the property in question. In those cases, sellers that live far away are usually selling property that they can no longer maintain from a distance and have grown tired caring for. These are perhaps the best candidate to accept an offer below list price as they are tired of the hassle of maintaining a long-distance piece of real estate.

No matter your tactic, there are sellers out there that want desperately to sell you a piece of real estate. Do your homework and investigate just why a seller is doing so and why a particular property is on the market. Those two bits of information could produce the difference between a list-price offer for a piece of real estate and an accepted offer below list price.

Where To Put Your Money

As in many aspects of life, the key to real estate investing can be location, location, location. While real estate is perhaps more complicated than hoping for foot traffic at a restaurant with a prime location, location does certainly play a part in the possible viability of a rental property. There are a few things you can look for in the area of your possible real estate investment that can tell you some important things about the possible long-term health of your potential investment.

Check For Growth
Is the area you’re looking at experiencing strong population and job growth? These are two important economic indicators that can help you decide whether a particular area is ripe for real estate investment opportunities. Local government web sites and federal reports are readily available with population and job growth information.

While the benefits of an increased local population are obvious, job growth that exceeds that population growth level can indicate a prospering community with money to spend. Areas that prosper are potential candidates for increased rent payments over time, one sure way to put you on the road to profitability with your real estate investment.

With job growth comes quality of life and as qualify of life improves in the area of your investment, so too grows the level of rent you can charge. It is a tried and true fact that people will pay more to live in an area they enjoy, so the prospect of an area growing more and more attractive will directly influence the financial state of your potential real estate investment.

The Real Estate Market
What is the construction atmosphere of the area like? Areas that are seeing a boom in new home construction often experience those booms because of favorable job growth, income growth and other factors. However, for an area where building permits are outpacing new population, that could be an early indicator of an over supply of real estate that could lead to depressed prices for rent payments.

The best case scenario is an area where few homes are for sale, pumping up demand, and where new home construction is strong but not out of control. That can be a fine line, but because any investment takes a great amount of homework and research, it is something that should be investigated over the course of your decision-making process on a new investment.

The Land Crunch
Just as a low supply of homes on the market can produce an upwards trend for housing prices and, subsequently, the level of rent you can charge, so too can a low level of land available to build on. In an area where population is growing and jobs are strong, all of these new people have to go somewhere.

Whenever more people want to move into an area than there are homes for those people to live in, you will see an upward slope for home prices and viable rent payments. If there is little land left to build on, those buildings that are already built will be able to charge more for their rent payments, putting your investment further towards profitability and the long-term benefit of owning property in an attractive part of town.

All of this initial information will not guarantee a profit on a rental property, but these are crucial steps to take when evaluating whether you want to put your hard-earned money into a real estate property that is sure to experience the ups and downs of the local economy. Especially for properties outside of your own home area, knowing the state of both the growth of the population and the home construction industry will help you more accurately predict the future viability of your investment.