What Home to Buy, and Where?
Getting the right home for you requires compromise or building from scratch.
Home Buying Wish List
You need to think about those things that you really want to have in your next home, and what is not essential. Swimming pools and garages are nice, but are they necessary for your purposes? Be specific on your wish list.
Real Estate Market Research
There are some things to consider when researching a home to buy.
Things to Compare - You can determine if you are paying a fair price for a home by comparing the same type houses in a neighborhood that have sold recently. Look at the typical features of a home, such as square footage, number of rooms, etc and compare.
Average Home Price - You can look at a neighborhood, and see what homes have sold for in recent years there. You can see if these neighborhoods then are in your price range.
Selling During Seasonal Time Frames - There could be much more selling at the end of school years, or right before winter, or other seasonal situations. This can tell you when the activity is high, and therefore prices might be slightly higher. You may find that there is a surplus of houses for sale, and that is the time to get a lower price.
Average Days on Sale - Among the neighborhoods you investigate, you will find some areas where homes take longer to sale. This could be an opportunity to get a home for a lower price than otherwise available for the same type home.
Regional Job Market - If you are going to an area where the job market is exploding, home prices will do the same. A lot of people moving to an area need housing, and when the supply diminishes, the prices increase. If you are going there for sure, get in early. If the job market is poor, be sure you job is secure, and get a home on the cheap.
Is the Home a Bargain?
- Always have a home inspector go over it before buying.
- Save money on homes needing repair, but make sure they are only minor.
- Estimate repair costs before committing to purchase.
- Don't fix the home beyond neighborhood standards.
Take advantage of driving through local neighborhoods if that is where you plan to buy a home. You check out Open Houses on the weekends to see what homes are like and their price ranges in specific neighborhoods (also a chance to find real estate agents).
No matter where you plan to buy a home though, whether local or distant, you should look into even more data, and the internet can provide some of that. Along with housing prices, homes sold, and average days on the market, you can find out about schools in the area and the crime rates and types of crimes in the area.
Home Resale Value
While many times we plan on living in our homes for the rest of our lives, this may not be the case, unless we know that we will expand our family or retire somewhere else. Please consider what the home resale value, or potential value, could be should you stay there a few years.
Sometimes you have something huge that is not foreseen that will dramatically change the potential price. Some university may expand near your area, a new factory of a large company is being built, or a freeway is being constructed near you. If these items are known well ahead of time, you may already see the trending of the values. Depending upon the state, some sellers must disclose information about changes that will affect the home value.
How to Achieve Your Home Buying Wish List
By using your wish list to determine what your next home needs to have to satisfy you, you start to locate it faster. By comparing prices within neighborhoods, comparing neighborhoods against each other, and using the market research techniques above, you will buy a home at a better price compared to its value than you otherwise would have.
You can use the aid of a real estate agent to assist you in doing this. My house hunting tips hub encompasses this and much more information on searching for a home.
Have you saved significant amounts of money by delving into market research when trying to buy a home? We would love to hear the numbers, because it is reinforcement that these techniques are worth our time, and thousands of dollars are worth it.