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Three Home Buying Secrets
Looking for a home? Take a look at these three home buying secrets. They might just save you several thousands of dollars.
Home Buying Secret - The Agent Is Not Your Friend
Okay, maybe your real estate agent is your friend, but that doesn't mean she will be looking out for your best interest. First of all, she can't, if she is working for the seller. Unless your agent specifically is working as a buyer's agent, he or she is likely legally obligated to work for the interest of the seller. This means that anything relevant you say ("Oh, I might go ,000 higher.") will be passed on to the seller.
Even if the real estate agent is working for you, be careful. People talk - even good agents. Don't say too much that you don't want known by all. In addition, keep in mind that an agent makes money only when there is a sale - and makes more on a larger sale, or one with a higher commission. This can mean less than perfect objectivity in helping you choose a home.
Home Buying Secret - A House Is Not Always A Good Idea
You may have the impression that buying a home is always a good idea. This is a convenient belief for real estate agents, title companies and bankers. The problem is that it just isn't true.
I know of towns where the home values are the same as they were twenty years ago, and others where they have dropped in value in the last year. Real estate does not always go up in a given year or even several. Even if real estate is appreciating, though, a home isn't necessarily a good investment, if rents are low relative to home prices.
In some towns appreciation has slowed, and home prices are very high, while at the same time, the rents in the area are low. For example, in Tucson, Arizona, a two-bedroom home can sell for 0,000, while you can rent one for just 0 per month. If you rent for half of what it costs to buy, and bank the difference, you may be further ahead financially three years from now.
Also think about how long you will be in the home. Transaction costs for real estate have gone up steadily over the years. You might spend 10% of the home value in buying costs, and selling costs, if you pay commission to sell it. This means that it will have to go up about 10% in value before you even break even - not likely if you move in the first couple years.
Home Buying Secret - Low Offers Work
Real estate agents will hate me for this one. Low offers are embarrassing for them to present to a seller, and even embarrassing for you to write. On the other hand, I have a friend who recently embarrassed himself into a lakefront home for about ,000 less than it is worth. How would you like to buy a home AND immediately increase your net worth by ,000?
Okay, low offers work, but here's how they work: rarely. You have to accept that if you want a bargain, you will lose a lot of potential homes, spend a lot of time making offers, and annoy real estate agents. Unless you are under time constraints, or have the fantasy that there is one "perfect" house for you, this isn't so bad. On the other hand, if none of your offers are even countered, you may really be wasting your time and trying to go too low.
About the Author: Copyright Steve Gillman. To see a photo of the house we bought for ,500, get a free ebook on how to buy Cheap Homes, and more, visit: http://www.HousesUnderFiftyThousand.com