The Price of Real-Estate Experience: About $25,000 – WSJ.com

Interesting article… Does it pay to have a more experienced agent?

Home for sale

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324123004579057500395585922.html

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 11:44 am
Dempsey and Phelps | Category: Bend Homes, Buying a Home, Home Sales, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Consider This, Before You Buy

This is the best time to buy a home in recent history.  Homes valued at 1/3 of what they were a few years ago and all time low interest rates have created a big opportunity.  But before you buy be sure it is the right time for you.  These ten tips are worth considering before you purchase.

If you can’t stay put, don’t buy

If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner.

Check your credit report, with a fine tooth comb

Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. Before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any discrepancies you discover.

Purchase within your budget

The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. But you’ll do better to use one of many calculators available online to get a better handle on how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford.

If you can’t put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a loan

There are a variety of public and private lenders who, if you qualify, offer low-interest mortgages that require a down payment as small as 3 percent of the purchase price.

A good school district does make a difference

When it comes time to sell, you’ll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values. So even if you don’t have your own children, this is a factor to greatly consider.

Get professional help

Even though the internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. The team of Rinehart, Dempsey & Phelps have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the entire house hunting/bidding/purchasing process.

Choose carefully between points and rate

When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points — a portion of the interest that you pay at closing — in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time — say three to five years or more — it’s usually a better deal to take the points. The lower interest rate will save you more in the long run.

Get pre-approved before you start looking

Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.

Do your homework before bidding

Your opening bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the neighborhood. So before making it, consider sales of similar homes in the last three months. If homes have recently sold at 5 percent less than the asking price, you should make a bid that’s about eight to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.

A home inspection is a must

Sure, your lender will require a home appraisal anyway. But t

hat’s just the bank’s way of determining whether the house is worth the price you’ve agreed to pay. Separately, you should hire your own home inspector, preferably an engineer with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. His or her job will be to point out potential problems that could require costly repairs down the road.

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 7:19 am
Dempsey and Phelps | Category: Buying a Home, Home Sales, Local News, Real Estate, Second Homes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,