Considerations When Buying a House
Have a Backup Plan
Do you know what to do if the seller decides not to go through with the transaction after all? What if they don’t even consider your offer, let alone agree to the sale?
Many don’t anticipate this before it happens to them, but it’s smart to consider an alternative before you make the offer, just in case. “Second prize” doesn’t sit well with some house hunters, but if you locate two properties, you feel more or less the same about, that equation could be a lot different.
Build in More Time Than You Need
House hunters who don’t anticipate problems or delays along the way are frequently more disappointed than their better-prepared counterparts.
By this, we mean to expect appraisal appointments to be canceled and rescheduled or pest inspections to give you news you didn’t want about the need to control an insect problem.
Those issues can cost time and money, and a smart buyer allows time to spend both. If you save a little extra and add a bit more time into your process (especially when it’s time to consider closing day and when to schedule your movers), you’ll benefit from added flexibility when it comes time to deal with the unexpected.
Save Some Extra Money
Not all borrowers can do this, but it pays to save a bit of extra money in case you can’t negotiate with the seller to cover certain costs or pay an incentive such as a percentage of your closing costs.
What you want to avoid, if possible, is being backed into a corner in the negotiation. If you feel you NEED that seller concession, you won’t be in a strong bargaining position.
If you can take it or leave it, you can be a bit more inflexible if you need to be, or you can accept the seller’s offer without concessions. Having the extra cash saved for this can help.
Ask a Real Estate Agent
There may be state or local programs that can help you with a down payment, there may be a unique set of conditions in your housing market you should know about before house hunting there, or you could just get a nudge in the right direction in terms of what neighborhoods are hot at the moment.
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