Buying a new home is obviously one of the most important decisions in life, and should not be made on the spur of the moment – it should never be a “love at first sight” decision, but a carefully reasoned one. Here are some things to remember to take into account during your decision making.
1. Never offer the asking price
This would seem to be obvious, yet many people view a house and say “I want it!”, and offer to buy it on the spot. Because you are the prospective buyer of the property, you have the right to put in whatever offer you want, and the vendor has the right to accept it or not. Don’t let the real estate agent tell you that your offer is too low, let that decision be made by the vendor. You never know the vendor’s position, he might be desperate to sell because of a marriage break up for example, or any other reason. Being a cash buyer puts you in a much stronger bargaining position.
2. Sell your own home before buying another one.
As explained above, if you are a cash buyer, having sold your own home, any vendor will be more receptive to your offer. An offer which is subject to you selling your current home is in reality not much of an offer at all. You are immediately vulnerable to being overtaken by a cash buyer, even if their offer is lower. If you are worried about not having a place to live if your home sells and you haven’t yet bought, one option is to try for a longer settlement time on your current home, and a shorter time on the one you are buying. Another option is to go into short term rental accommodation, or perhaps stay with relatives, even if it is in a caravan.
3. Don’t get talked into buying a home by someone else.
Don’t forget that it is your money that is going to be spent, and you are the one who is going to be living there. Of course you can get advice from family and friends, and this can be helpful, but it remains your decision. If you cannot fide a house which satisfies your needs, be prepared to sit back and wait until you find one that does. Houses are like suburban buses, if you miss one, another will be along shortly. Take all the time you need to get the right house.
4. Don’t get carried away by advertisements.
Obviously you will be reading the real estate pages, but concentrate on the facts like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the area, the price etc. The ads will be presenting the home in the best possible light, leaving out any major problems, such as a leaky roof. Take time to learn real estate jargon, and what the words really mean. “Cute cottage” means very small, “handyman’s dream” means the house will cost a lot to renovate. In time you will get to automatically substitute the jargon with your own words.
So there are just a few tips to consider when buying a home, and I hope to publish some more in further articles.