In an ideal world, you could afford the house of your dreams without blinking an eye. In the real world, though, the price is the point that makes or breaks a sale.
Your budget might be big or small, but either way, it has to cover the home you want in the city where you reside. While you might look forward to shopping in a buyer’s market, be aware that this label does not always means prices are low.
The following five tips will help you get the best possible deal on your new home.
1. Understand the buyer’s market
One of the best ways to get a good deal on your new home is to understand that a buyer’s market is not necessarily what you think. It’s not a market in which home prices are drastically low; it’s a market in which there are more homes available for sale than buyers. This means you have more to choose from, but you might not get more house for your money.
2. Foreclosures and short sales
Maybe you think that snatching up a home in foreclosure or short sale will be a great deal because it’s so cheap. Maybe you’re right, but you could be wrong. Many homes that sell this way have significant damage and need repairs, which might overrule the low purchase price. Additionally, it can take months to for banks to approve your offer on a short sale. Knowing this could save you a bundle of anxiety, if nothing else.
3. Check with tax assessors
You can do a quick Internet search on a property that interests you to see how long it’s been owned. The longer a homeowner has been in the house, the more equity it has. For example, a seller who’s been living in a house for 30 years and paid $150,000 for the home, and is selling it for more than $1 million, probably has a great deal of equity in the home. This means the owner is probably going to be more willing to negotiate a lower purchase price.
4. Look for comparable sales
Check the sales price of comparable homes in the neighborhood of the house you want. Check to see what upgrades and amenities are in the houses with the same square footage, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms, and what they sold for. This gives you more room to negotiate price with the seller.
5. Utilize technology
You can look for homes, check the prices of comparable structures, see what’s inside those comps, and dig up information about nearby schools, shopping, dining, and entertainment, all from your smartphone. You can download realtor apps, neighborhood apps, or just perform a quick search that will tell you almost anything you want to know about a neighborhood. This can help you find a great deal on a new house.
A buyer’s market is not always what it seems. If you are waiting for the perfect time to purchase your new home, you might wait a long time. There is never really a perfect time for anything.
However, there is always a good time to do a little research to find out when and how you might get the best possible deal on the most expensive purchase you are ever likely to make.