Archive for the ‘Buyer Tips’ Category

Your Responsibilities when Working with a Buyer

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Choosing a buyer

Questions to ask when Buying a Condo

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Buying a condo is decidedly different than buying a single-family home. Condo ownership comes with its share of unique circumstances, so it is important to understand the many ways in which condos differ from single-family properties. In short, there are a number of questions you should be asking when you begin looking at condo properties:

  • What are the Homeowners Association (HOA) fees?

HOA fees are additional fees that you must pay when living in a condo. Also called association fees, HOA fee funds go toward building upkeep and maintenance, grounds maintenance, garbage removal, and building amenities, such as swimming pools and fitness centers.

HOA fees are typically paid each month, and vary widely from one condo building to the next. HOA fees can have a large impact on your budget, so understanding these fees is a very important aspect of owning a condo. Expect HOA fees to be higher in condo buildings that offer many resident amenities and services.

  • Who supervises the disbursement of HOA fees?

Most HOAs are run by a condo association, which is commonly made up of a board of condo owners.

Making an Offer on an Overpriced Home

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

You see a home you love, but the sellers have it way overpriced. If you walk away, you could be walking away from owning a fantastic home. However, if you put a realistic offer on the home, you could be in for a straight rejection or a supreme battle.

Why Buyers Shy away from Overpriced Homes

There are many reasons why homebuyers shy away from the overpriced home. First of all, they want to avoid a fight; or, at the very least, they want to avoid offending the seller. It may be quite an embarrassing situation for the buyer to be caught in.

Many buyers assume that sellers with an overpriced home already know the home is overpriced and that there will be little room for negotiation. If you knew a Coppell property was overpriced on purpose would it even make sense to waste your time putting in an offer? You would probably also assume that the sellers have received a low-ball offer at some point along the line, and that they already rejected it.

Should you still make an Offer?

So the question becomes: should you still go after an overpriced listing?

The best way to find an overpriced listing is to examine the number of days the home has been on the market. Next, ask your agent to perform an analysis on the home and to give you an estimate of what the home is worth. One of the most important things to realize is that, more often than not, the sellers are not even aware that their home is overpriced. Many times their listing agent is afraid of offending them by telling them that their home is overpriced!

Because of the condition of the real estate market, and the number of homes that are on the market at any given time, it may be a really good idea to make an offer on an overpriced home. It is important, however, to come armed with the information you obtained from your own market analysis. A great way to get the ball rolling is to offer the sellers a large earnest money deposit to show your interest.

Finally, understand that, although the seller may have turned down other low-ball offers from buyers, you could be entering the picture at the right moment when the seller is ready and willing to sell the home for less than the asking price. In other words, never assume anything when it comes to buying an overpriced home!

New or Old? How to Choose the Home that

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

There is a seemingly endless array of decisions to make when purchasing a home. Where do I want to live? How much home can I afford? What amenities and features do I want in my home?

Another important question that many buyers face is: do I want to purchase a new home or an existing home?

The answer to this question may be a bit tricky, as there are a number of pros and cons to purchasing both a new home and an existing home. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision between new and old:

  • Workmanship and craftsmanship – Many home buyers gravitate towards older homes because, often times, there is more attention paid to craftsmanship in older homes. Although this is often the case, many of the newer homes also have beautiful features that are reminiscent of older homes.

What you need to Know when Buying a New Home

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Buying a new home doesn’t have to be a stressful experience! In fact, if you know what to expect, and are prepared for what lies ahead, purchasing a new home can be quite enjoyable and satisfying.

Unlike purchasing an existing University Park home, purchasing a new home presents a number of challenges, including the construction process and working with a builder. However, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that your home buying experience can be incredibly rewarding, provided you understand the process of purchasing a new home.

  • Find a lender and get pre-qualified – Just like a typical home loan, you must get pre-qualified with a lender. Many times, home builders work with particular lenders, and can offer buyers additional incentives if they use those lenders. However, it is still a good idea to check out rates and terms with other lenders before deciding on the builder’s lender. Don’t let incentives sway you; instead, pay close attention to interest rates and look at the long-term picture.
  • Narrow down your home choices based on the area in which you want to live – The process of building a new home or finding a new home community is a lot easier if you narrow down your choices according to geographical factors. Things to consider when deciding on an area in which to live include: the school district; the proximity to your work, school, church or highway; the neighborhood itself; and home values.
  • Use the Internet to begin your search for new homes – Many new home communities and builders have great websites that you can use to learn more about the new homes. Searching the Internet for new home information can save you a great deal of time and leg work.
  • Consider hiring a real estate agent instead of using the builder’s sales representatives - The sales representative for a new home builder is working for the builder, not for you. It is because of this that you may want to consider using the services of another qualified real estate agent when purchasing a new home.

How to Buy Real Estate like a Pro

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The whole home buying process is rather overwhelming and intimidating. However, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your home buying experience is pleasant and that you snagged the best deal on a great house.

No home buyer can be 100 percent sure that they will purchase a Las Colinas home without problems; however, there are many steps you can take to protect yourself and your investment from a “bum” house:

  • Pay close attention to the seller disclosure – Most states now require that sellers disclose all known defects to the buyers, in the form of a disclosure. It is important to read and re-read this form very closely and to ask questions if there’s any information in the disclosure that you don’t understand. If there is something wrong with the home, and the seller fails to disclose it, he or she is liable for the damages. However, before you can go after the seller you must be able to prove that he or she knew about the defect. Often times, the neighbors can be your biggest allies when it comes to proving that the seller knew about the defect, so consider talking to the nearby neighbors if you have found something that you are certain the sellers knew about.
  • Never pass up a professional home inspection – A professional home inspection is your best defense against getting stuck with a home that has serious defects. It is always a good decision to pay for the services of a professional home inspector, as he can reveal any defects in the home before the home is purchased. Many times, the buyer’s contract can be contingent upon the home inspection. In other words, if the defects are just too serious you can choose to back out the contract and not be penalized. In addition, you can also use a home inspection as a bargaining tool.
  • Think twice before purchasing an “as-is” home – A seller may choose to sell his or her Las Colinas home “as-is.” In other words, there is no room for negotiation, regardless of what a professional home inspection uncovers. Sure, you can find a great fixer-upper this way, but you must also be prepared to sink a lot of money into the home. Ask yourself: am I really prepared to handle this kind of challenge?

Making a home Budject and sticking to it

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The real estate market has been posting some modest gains, and those gains are expected to continue well into 2010. For those of us who have been waiting on the sidelines to purchase a new Plano home, now may be the time to take action.

Now is a great time to enter the real estate market, provided you have the credit and the down payment to make it happen. However, an area not often addressed by homebuyers is budgeting for a new Plano home.

In particular, figuring out a budget and sticking to it. Making a home budget is essential for handling your finances, and that goes for your mortgage, too. Foreclosures and short sales are still circulating through the market; many of which are a direct result of homebuyers not budgeting themselves and thinking long-term.

It is therefore important to establish a home budget as soon as you decide to purchase a new Plano home and, more importantly, it is important to stick to the budget, without fail.

  • Before you begin looking for homes in the Plano real estate market, go straight to a lender and get pre-qualified for a mortgage. It makes no sense to begin looking at homes before you are pre-qualified, as you likely will not have a clear picture of how much home you can afford.
  • In addition to a pre-qualification letter from a lender, sit down and make up a realistic household budget. Make sure your monthly budget has plenty of wiggle room, and make sure you have enough left over every month to put at least 10 percent of your income into an emergency savings account. It is true that many homeowners are just a month away from not being able to pay their bills. Don’t let this happen to you; aim to put at least a year’s worth of your salary into an emergency savings account.
  • Consider changes in your lifestyle or family. If you are planning to start a family, take into consideration the added expense. If you don’t plan on staying in your current home for more than a couple years, you may rethink buying at this time and look at renting instead. A big part of planning a feasible household budget is to anticipate changes in your life and the many ways in which they can affect your finances.

Buyers Tips: How to Find the Home of your Dreams in a Buyer

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Purchasing a Highland Park property amidst a buyer’s market is a smart move; however, it is important to not go into the process thinking you are going to low ball every offer you make. Instead, approach each home with a fresh attitude and really consider whether the price of the home is reasonable for this market.

  1. Gauge the local market – Many times, buyers think that they are going to get a steal on a Highland Park home. However, the reality is that most of the time the list price on the home is already as low as the seller can go. You can work with your real estate agent, however, to gauge the local real estate market.

The Ins and Outs of Choosing a Family Home

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Many home buyers flock to Lovejoy ISD neighborhoods because of the excellent school system.

Lovejoy ISD homes are highly sought after by families who want to provide their children with the highest quality education.

Although it is always a great idea to consider schools when choosing a family home, there are many other factors that you should take into consideration when searching for Lovejoy ISD homes:

  • Think Ahead – If you have a growing family – or an expanding family – you will want to think ahead. In particular, you will need to start thinking long-term. Will you plan on staying in this home? And if so, will it accommodate your growing and changing family?
  • Location – Although you may choose to view Lovejoy ISD homes because of the excellent school system, you may also want to consider where the schools are located and if the location of the home is conveniently located near the school. Keep in mind that property values near a school are generally higher.
  • Needs – If you are searching for a family home, and you have small children, then you may need to think in terms of safety. Is the layout conducive to small children? Are there hazards, such as open staircases? Are the bedrooms located in such a manner as to allow you to keep an eye on your children, even when they are sleeping? Is the backyard safe and enclosed? Is the street busy?
  • Nearby Parks and Recreation – In addition to great schools, consider whether your neighborhood has nearby parks, playgrounds or outdoor recreational activities for your children. A great neighborhood is often much more attractive to families, as well as home values, so consider whether your Lovejoy ISD neighborhood has areas for your children to run and play.
  • Safety – Most parents – especially those of smaller children – want to make sure that their neighborhood is safe. Ask for crime records, talk to neighbors and make sure that your neighborhood is equipped with sidewalks, street lights and other safety considerations for families.

A First-Time Homebuyer

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

The Uptown Dallas real estate market is healthy and strong, thanks to excellent real estate options amidst highly desirable neighborhoods. If you are new to the market and are looking into the Uptown Dallas real estate market, you can be sure to find a wide array of real estate at nearly any price point.

As a new homebuyer, there are a number of things to consider before heading out to search for Uptown Dallas real estate:

  • Find a qualified and experienced real estate agent – Real estate agents who are skilled in the Uptown Dallas real estate market can be a first-time homebuyer’s best friend. A qualified real estate agent will have a good understanding of the current market conditions and will be able to provide you with a plethora of information on the neighborhoods of Uptown Dallas. In addition, a qualified real estate agent will also be able to guide you through the entire home buying process, which may prove to be quite confusing to those individuals who are new to the market.
  • Understand your needs and wants – Viewing the lovely homes of Uptown Dallas may cause you to waver from your first thoughts about what you need and want. It is important to make a list of your wants and needs and to take that with you every time you view an Uptown Dallas property. Keeping your sights set on what is important to you will prevent you from purchasing a home that may catch your eye, but doesn’t meet your needs.
  • Take a first-time homebuyer course – Many real estate companies offer first-time homebuyer seminars. These helpful seminars, which are usually provided free of charge, can provide you with a great deal of information regarding the current real estate market and your options within the market. Your best chance of securing a great Uptown Dallas property is to educate yourself so you are able to make the most thoughtful decisions.
  • Get pre-approved first – Before you even begin the process of searching for Uptown Dallas real estate, head straight to a lender to discuss your financing options and your budget.