Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Is now really the time to buy?

(Originally posted on March 9, 2008)

Making the jump

For most folks who are renting, buying a home is definitely on their wish list. No matter where you turn, the TV and newspaper headlines cry gloom and doom. Personally, if I see one more picture of a "FORECLOSURE" sign, I'll scream. Yet there are two sides to every story, and if you read between the lines, the message is "BUY NOW."

Time magazine really did a great job in a recent article on showing why it makes more sense to buy now than to wait. Click HERE to read the article.

Auctions, New homes, For Sale by Owner - Where to start?

Every street you drive down, you see the signs. OPEN HOUSE, FORECLOSURE, MUST SELL, NO REASONABLE OFFER REFUSED - how appealing is that!? The signs are meant to lure you in, but beware, buying a house is no easy feat. Unless you're buying from a new home builder, almost every "bargain" is being sold as-is. That means you've got some due diligence (investigation) to do, before you want to make that house your home. Don't do it alone.

Proper representation

I can't stress strongly enough how important it is to work with a Realtor. Having a Realtor represent you costs you NOTHING. We get paid by the seller. I can't speak for other real estate agents, but I am trained to protect your rights and make sure you know all the facts so you can make an informed decision, and get the best price AND incentives, no matter whether you're buying from a builder, homeowner or bank.

Most folks think they're "Just looking" when they drive through neighborhoods or go to see new home models. As soon as you walk in, unrepresented (without an agent WITH YOU), you are now going it alone. It doesn't matter if you didn't sign in, a real estate agent can't represent you.

New home sales, too

What's especially confusing for buyers is that they think when they go to see new homes, that the sales agent on-site is there to represent them. Unfortunately, that's not true. That agent represents the seller ONLY. They cannot represent you, and no matter what "bargain price" they tell you they're offering, you can do better with a Realtor. Again, you must walk in with the Realtor on the first visit.

I know what you're thinking, "But we want to narrow down which homes we like, and don't want to drag someone along with us," or "We were just driving home and saw the signs and went in." Remember, the minute you walk through the door, you're now going it alone.

This may all sound self-serving for you to use a Realtor, but talk to someone who had a bad experience with a home purchase, and you'll see I have your best interests at heart. Do you have a friend or relative who has their real estate license? That's great. Make sure they are experienced, have closed on sales recently, understand the market, the area you're buying in, and the true values of the homes being sold.

Rent versus Buy

The bottom line is this, with the new loan qualifications just released by the government and the pending rate cuts by the Fed, it is truly cheaper to buy than rent now. Why keep throwing your money away when you can start earning equity on a home of your own? Give me a call and let's get started today.

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