Vol. 6, Issue 2July 2014


House Hunting Tips

If you are house hunting, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want. However, according to Forbes, there are some common pitfalls you should avoid when you are buying a home.

Stay in your price range. You don’t want to fall in love with a house you can’t afford. If you do, you probably will do one of two things: Either you will buy the house, digging yourself a financial hole that you might never get out of, or you will be disappointed in other homes you see that you can afford. Instead, start at the low end of your price range. Who knows –- you might get lucky. If not, work your way up to -– but not over -– the top end.

Don’t fixate on a particular house. If you find a house you like but there are some problems, look for other, similar houses in the area. You probably even can find some houses built by the same builder.

Don’t get desperate. Even if you have been looking for a house for a long time, don’t decide you will buy the next place you see. Hold out until you find a house you like. If you settle for something out of desperation, you either will live in a home you don’t like or you will have to sell it – which can be expensive, especially in this market.

Don’t overlook major problems. This can happen either because you fall in love with a particular house or because you are desperate to get into a new place. But it can be very expensive to overlook major problems such as structural issues, a bad location, etc.

Don’t overestimate your handyman ability. Fixing up a house takes a lot of time, a lot of expertise and more money than you probably think it will take. Unless you really know what you are doing, don’t expect that you will be able to handle major upgrades and renovations.

Think things through. Don’t feel pressured into making an offer before you have thought about it fully. For example, drive past the house at night and check out the neighborhood. Run your budget numbers again. If at all possible, sleep on your decision.

But don’t be too slow. Once you have thought through your decision carefully, don’t drag your feet. If you miss out on a house because you were too slow to make an offer, you have to start the whole process all over again.

Don’t pay too much. Even if the market in your area is very hot, don’t pay more than a house is worth. Your bank might not give you the mortgage you need if the purchase price is too high. Plus, you might have trouble selling the house when the time comes if you overpaid to start with.