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2012-12-14 07:11:42
A Gift for Buyers: Stuff Your Stocking with Advice

December Buying Advice: Here are the best tips for making a smart home purchase in Salt Lake, Draper, Holladay, Sandy or South Jordan.


Sound advice is always a smart gift. So here is our gift to you.  Some of the best tips for making a smart home purchase!

 

The top 10 buying tips


1. Create – and  keep — a good credit score
. All lenders use a credit score to help them  understand what kind of risk you would be as a borrower. Pull a copy of your  credit history and FICO score. The better the score, the better the interest  rate you will be offered. To get the best mortgage deals, you need a score above  760.

 

2. Find a good agent. Don't just use a friend or family  member, or someone you run into regularly at your kid's school. Do some  research, and find who can benefit you and your specific needs most. (www.lindasecrist.com )
'The best advice is to look for a highly respected buyers agent,' she says.  Ask your family and friends for recommendations and then meet with several  agents. 'Find someone that you feel comfortable with, feel you can trust and  that has experience in the areas you are searching for your home.'
Work with an agent who has a lot of experience with  distressed properties, including short sales, as they make up a good portion of  available homes.

Just be sure the agent sells real estate full time, so he can respond  quickly ( www.lindasecrist.com.) Ask the agent for the names of buyers he has helped in the past six  months.  If the agent can't come up with several, you should keep  looking.

3. Set a budget and get preapproved by a lender. It is  important to know what you can afford and what a comfortable monthly payment  would be. Some  homebuyers learn the hard way that they can qualify for more than they can  comfortably afford to pay.Getting a preapproval before starting shopping for  a home is also a must.  That way, when you see a house you like,  you're ready. And we do mean preapproved, which means submitting pay stubs and  tax returns, not prequalified, which is more of a cursory estimate.

4. Check out the neighborhood just as carefully as you check out the  house. Once you find that home that you really like, drive by that house  at several times during the day and during different days of the week to really  gauge the type of neighborhood you are buying into.

5. Be ready to pull the trigger when you see the perfect  home. The supply of for-sale housing is limited in many parts of the  country, and that means good houses go quickly.

Buyers need to be  alert and ready to sign when they see a keeper, which means being organized and having  their financing in order.

You don't want to be so busy worrying about getting a 'good deal' or negotiating  small deal points that we miss the opportunity to buy the house we want.

6. Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Spend the money on  any and all inspections that are suggested in the primary home inspection -- and  for heaven's sake,  please don't forget to get an inspection before you buy. Some buyers  skip this step, because the house looks OK and because they figure they are  getting a home warranty, so why worry? But often this doesn't cover all of the  property's problems. The amount you could end up spending in the long run  because of a defect you didn't know about is far greater than the expense of  having a professional come out and take a look before you buy.

7. Buy the cake, not the icing. You can change the paint,  paper, carpet and fixtures fairly easily, but you can't readily change the  home's layout, size of the rooms or location. Look past the cosmetics to the  bones of the house. And think about resale. While a one-bedroom home may fit you  just fine, how easy will it be to sell five years from now? Likewise, will that  extremely busy street be a turn-off for others?

8. Get on the same page with your spouse.  Discuss things!  So many times,  couples have a hard time agreeing on a house because they're not exactly sure  what they want. Know what you must-have and would-like-to-have  early in the process. Both spouses should sit down and make their own  lists and then get together and see what they agree on and where they differ and  talk this through. This will save a lot of time and arguments down the road.

 

9. Know the landscape. Once a home that looks interesting  comes up on the multiple listing service, you need to consult with your agent and do some  research. How many homes are on the market in the blocks around it? How long  have they been on the market? What condition are they in? What's in escrow? What  have houses nearby sold for in the past 90 days? These questions will help  buyers recognize a good deal when they see it.

10. Don't get emotional. Don't stretch your budget just  because you love a home. Think like an investor and tell yourself, 'There will  be others out there for me.' It's alot like dating,  You need to  know what else is available, rather than falling in love with the first one. Think with your head, not your heart!

 

 

LINDA SECRIST - LINDA SECRIST & ASSOCIATES - EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH TURNS TO SOLD!

 


 


 

 
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