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Nervous about buying a home?You should be...
Your home is probably the single biggest investment you'll make in your lifetime. With an unpredictable economy, a mortgage crisis and record foreclosures, the commitment to buy can be downright overwhelming.
In recent years, lax lending standards eliminated some of the obstacles, but now lenders are once again getting picky.
The good news is that for those who qualify for a mortgage -- with a steady income, strong credit and a modicum of savings -- this is actually a good time to purchase a home. Mortgage rates are low, and home prices have been declining in most parts of the United States.
10 Buying Tips:h you can afford, and stay within your budget.
1.) Don't overreach. Forget the McMansion on the hill if it's beyond your means. Focus on finding something that will offer affordable monthly payments and a debt load you can handle. Inventory is limited. Open your horizons to the options available. The market corrects itself from the bottom up. Ask SoCal Superior Properties for a 6 month market analysis to see if the market is trending upward so you don't wait to long.
Make sure you fully understand and remain within your boundaries. Consider a preapproved mortgage. Many reputable lenders offer them. The preapproval process tells you exactly what you will have to pay with the option of locking your interest rate. Preapproval is also mandatory before you can write an offer and is a most stressful event when you find a home and you are not ready. It provides some needed peace of mind, ensuring that when the time comes, you'll have financing in place. Also real-estate agents are hesitant to work with you without pre-approval.
2.) Real-estate agents operate on different internal clocks. One may be inclined to call you every day, while another may want to call every few weeks. Ask questions about the agent's approach, follow up, negotiation skills and professional history.
Ideally, the agent you choose will do a lot of business in your neighborhood of choice, in the business for years, gathering plenty of useful information about lending options, title searches, contract knowledge and negotiation skills as well as useful ways to compare properties. Try to avoid real-estate agents who are doing on-the-job training or on floor time waiting for unsuspecting walk-ins. Don't just walk into the company and take just any agents waiting on the floor. Experienced agents rarely are waiting for clients to drop on their lap.
Shop around; Make sure they are a Realtor who has to comply with ethics and fiduciary obligations. Who is working the most? What's their level of experience? With tough times comes unscrupulous agents that can write just about anything in the purchase contract that an untrained eye can miss, compromising your deposit and even your home.
SoCal Superior Properties offers a professional broker, with over 20 years experience that offers seasoned experts to assist in all aspects of real estate, lending and property management.
A diligent and dedicated agent by your side is not enough! Buyers need to research their potential new home and neighborhood as thoroughly as possible. Thankfully, a lot of that work can be done from your bedroom or office computer.
The National Association of Realtors says 84% of buyers use the Internet to help them find a home. Do not be part of that other 16%. You'll find the Net is packed with resources about cities, neighborhoods, crime statistics and school districts. orhood.
Rich as the information on the Internet is, it's no substitute for showing up. Experts suggest repeated visits to your neighborhood of choice, so you can check out homes for sale and attend open houses. Walk around. Shoot the breeze with the neighbors. Visit the community several times at different times of day.
3.) Walk it, smell it, hear it. At 3 p.m., maybe your lawn will be overrun with kids getting off school. At 10 p.m., there could be a club or teenagers at night playing loud music.
4.) How low can you go? Real-estate agents say it all depends on the pressures facing the individual seller. Some of those pressures are related to particular locations -- towns go up and down in appeal, market trends and hardship But broadly speaking, if ever there was a buyer's market, this is it!
"In a strong market, a seller would laugh off a lowball bid. A few months ago you may be able to bid 20% less than you did nine or 12 months ago. This spring, there are multiple offers and most going 10k over list price. Cash offers take the stage making it very difficult for the homeowner with a loan.
This gets a bit tricky. Real-estate experts are talking a lot about foreclosed properties. Many suggest that, under the right circumstances, exploitation of a foreclosure can give a buyer a nice home at a very nice price.
Foreclosure filings and bank repossessions are up dramatically. So much so that some agents and lenders have been organizing weekend bus tours (one charges passengers $97 a ride) to showcase foreclosed properties in hard-hit cities. SoCal Superior Properties does not charge for REO Tours.
Tours can be very confusing if you're chasing default and even trust sale pre-foreclosures, that might have already been approved for a loan modification or has filed a Bankruptcy. Don't get lost in inappropriate inventory that might not be available for months and sometime years! SoCal Superior Properties will investigate each property showing you Real inventory.
5.) Avoid homes with Title & Tax uncertainties. Though buying a foreclosed property can potentially provide big savings, it can also present a lot of problems that may not be apparent. SoCal Superior Properties recommends that buyers and consider only properties that have been officially foreclosed on and deeded back to the foreclosing bank. Short Pays are very risky this time around. Pre-Foreclosures can be risky if not investigated. Bank Owned & Repossessions can be confusing. Banks and their attorneys prepare contracts to protect the bank only. Make sure you use SoCal Superior Properties with extensive contract law and knowledge all current market trends. SoCal Superior Properties specializes in the investigation of all homes to make sure there are no hidden liens, clouds or costs.
Many unscrupulous subprime lenders have been shut down. That doesn't mean there aren't still some shady characters around. Don't be tempted to deal with them. Find a lender with roots in the community and a record of integrity that offers reasonable rates.
Ask SoCal Superior Properties for a list of reputable lenders. SoCal Superior Properties will help you compare each type of loan and Won't let you sign anything without review.
Mortgage rates are very near historic lows, and inventory was high but now it's LOW! New Inventory should be here some time this summer.
6.) Bank Owned & Repossessed are sold AS-IS. In recessionary times, the pride of homeownership tends to suffer. It's not that people don't want to maintain their homes; it's that other priorities intervene. A good inspector can help you spot problems that may result from neglect. Bringing in a home inspector is relatively cheap (often from $200 to $300). It's the least buyers should do to make sure they're purchasing a home in reasonably good shape. SoCal Superior Properties recommends buyers accompany inspectors when they examine a home and look out for anything suspicious. Don't be afraid to ask plenty of questions.
Ask what every crack & what every stain might be. Look beyond the cosmetic, the paint, the carpet and the flowers. Check under the steps, check under the eaves.
Ask SoCal Superior Properties for a list of reputable inspectors. SoCal Superior Properties will be by your side during your inspection also doing an independent inspection for negotiation and documentation.
7.)Don't expect the kind of price appreciation that occurred in the early 2000s. Home buying should be viewed as a long-term investment right now. Buy a home you can live in happily for a good many years, if possible. A long-term commitment will pay dividends in peace of mind.
8.) When will market prices hit rock-bottom? No one knows for sure, so waiting to get in at the lowest possible price isn't recommended. Still, experts predict it will remain a buyer's market for the foreseeable future. Parents, Family & Friends will tell you to wait, until you miss the wave. As mentioned, the market corrects itself from the bottom up. Ask SoCal Superior Properties for a 6 month market analysis to see if the market is trending upward so you don't wait to long.
9.) Don't let other people talk you into something you don't want. More importantly talk you Out of what you Do want. Parents, Family & Friends mean well but offer ill advice on laws that change dramatically on a daily basis. Just because they've bought or sold a house or two in their day, does not make them an expert, especially with contracts which is the name of the game. Anyone can find a home and more often than not, the buyer finds through the internet anyway. They are just trying to help but often is one of the most stressful parts of buying a home. Do your own homework and have an expert on your side, so you don't have to discuss every detail with on-lookers...
10.) Everyone knows someone that's a real estate agent. Unless they've sold hundreds of homes, your home investment is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make. Money matters are the main reason for breakups. Don't risk your friendship, hoping they have the experience to handle this market.