Guide to Purchasing Real Estate Part II
Guide to Purchasing Homes Part II
In previous two articles, we examined different stages of the home buying process from the start to having finances, finding a Realtor and creating a comprehensive list of the criteria that the new home must possess. Now that you have an idea who is going to assist you in obtaining a loan and who is going to find the home for you, it is the time to look for your dream home. After your Realtor receives the list of the amenities and the preferred location for the new home he or she will conduct many searches in order to come up with a list of the candidate listings that match your list. Next, he or she will make the necessary appointments and accompany you in previewing them.
Guide to Identifying Problems with a Home
This section will assist you in what to do and identify possible problems with a home during the preview of the homes for sale:
- Try to look, observe and make notes on details of each listing. Your notes also should contain points that describe the layout of the house, pros and cons and other remarks that could help you in recalling of those details. The experience has shown that after previewing 4-5 listings the homebuyers could not recall the exact layouts and become confused on the exact location of the different rooms in the house. To avoid this type of confusions I have always advised my buyers to make a note of what room they see first, second and so on when they enter the house as well as to grade each home on a scale of 1-10 for their desirability. Take some time to evaluate each listing after previewing a number of homes. Eliminate the homes that are far from being an ideal home and grade the rest as being keepers or not.
Now, it is much easier to comb through the few homes that scored the highest as keepers. If you still not completely satisfied with what you’ve seen ask your Realtor to show you some more listings and let him know which homes scored highest and for what reasons you have decided against them. This will allow your Realtor to have a better picture of your priorities and narrow down the listings that would be as close to your taste as possible. Don’t rush but learn to compromise when possible as well.
- When previewing any home, especially the ones that had caught your interest, look around and above. Look around for any imperfections including cracked tiles, cracked driveway or foundation as this could signal structural problems. Look above all over the ceilings and the walls for the signs of any leaks as well as any imperfection in the plaster; the latter could be the result of the previous repairs due to leaks.
- When you finally locate the home that you wish to put an offer, ask your realtor to show you the transaction history in the MLS system, which would show you the transfer of ownerships in the past and how much the previous owner has paid and when. Although this could become helpful when deciding on the offer price but don’t get stuck on how much the previous owner has paid and concentrate more on the current fair market value. Your Realtor is equipped with many tools to assist you in calculating that value. Sometimes we have used the MLS history to evaluate the previous listings along with the description and photos to determine how much of an upgrade and remodeling the house has gone through when compared with the older listings.
In the following article, Guide to Purchasing Real Estate Part IV, we will examine the process of placing and offer, escrow agencies, appraisal and inspection processes.