When Should I Buy My Next House

August 18, 2008

As if the home buying process isnt nerve wracking enough, an unstable market presents unique challenges to future home buyers. With the steady stream of bad news, increased foreclosures and tightened restrictions on mortgages, it can be more difficult to buy a new home now than it has been in the past. Lenders are getting picky and it can spell bad news for those individuals on the house market.

If you already qualify for a mortgage, however, and have a good income with strong credit, you can be in a prime spot to purchase a home. With declining home prices and an established mortgage, the house market is not as treacherous for established homeowners as it can be for first time buyers. There are some tips and tricks, however, to help you stay within a safe area for your future home purchase despite an unstable market scenario.

Do not over reach yourself with a large mortgage. It might be great that you can afford a certain price on paper, but you need to take the time to work out how much your mortgage payments will actually be each month. Can you afford to have this as a monthly expense while still saving for your retirement, college, increased portfolio, or a new car? What are the bills that will accompany a house that is that large? Can you afford those along with your mortgage? What are your annual taxes? Know this information before you get too caught up in a big number that will mean little to you until you break it down in monthly installments.

Real estate agent differences can affect home buying as well. All real estate agents are not the same. Some will call you regularly while others prefer to stay quiet until they have found the exact right house for you. Ask a number of questions to your potential real estate agent to find the one that is best suited to your personality. Do they experience with title searches? Can they help you spot potential problems with the property? Having a good real estate agent that fits your personality will make all the difference in your future home shopping experience.

Even the best real estate agent can miss some things. Look online to find crime statistics, school districts, home prices and comparables. You can find an array of quality information about your future potential neighborhood by taking the time to search online. If you are armed with this extensive knowledge, you can make better deals and know what you are getting into with your future home. Look for virtual house tours and extensive pictures. Check out the neighborhood, the annual taxes, and much more at the touch of your fingers.

Walk the Streets of your future neighborhood. No matter how much information you find online, you cant really know a neighborhood until you spend some time there. Look for open houses in the neighborhood that are not the property you are interested in to see other homes in the area, meet the neighbors. Drive through your future neighborhood at all hours of the day to see what kind of neighbors you would have. Are there a lot of kids, working parents, or older couples? You can find this out through your frequent drives.

Negotiate with the home sellers of your future home. You do not know what the sellers situation might be and it never hurts to try to negotiate a lower price. Although it might insult them and you could lose the house forever, some home buyers have found that asking for more in their offers has been very successful for them. If the seller is under a lot of pressure to sell or has had few offers, they might be more willing to listen to your demands.

Up front, foreclosed properties might seem like a steal. They are much less expensive and can be a great deal when it comes time to sell. However, if the homeowner has been unable to make their mortgage payments, it is highly likely that they have been able to keep up with the general maintenance of the home itself. You will have to purchase a foreclosed property as is many times and you could be stuck with a property that has larger issues than you are willing to deal with.

When you purchase your next house, get into a mortgage you can afford. Especially for first time buyers, getting a good mortgage and knowing which lenders are right for you can be tricky. There are unethical lenders out there offering deals that are literally too good to be true. Finding a good mortgage and lender can ensure the stability of your financial portfolio and home status. If you are caught with an unsavory lender and something bad happens in the future, the status of your home and ability to secure another mortgage will come into question. You could lose everything due to bad choices made now with your mortgage company.

Get a home inspection. You need an unbiased view of the property you are about to buy. In order to ensure that you know of all your propertys potential problems up front, it pays to get a great home inspector. You want to be able to trust the person and know that what he or she says is legitimate. If your home inspection finds problems that far exceed what you are willing to deal with, you have the opportunity to back out before it is too late. The home inspection is the smartest way to buy a home no matter what the economic situation is.

Finally, buy your home with a long term plan in mind. A home purchase is a huge investment and the savvy buyers look to find a house that will fit them now and years down the road. You can invest in your home and make any necessary upgrades to help you grow with the property, but staying with your home will help to increase your investment and make you more financially secure in the future.

If you have bad credit, consider purchasing a house through a lease purchase or rent to own. Now is a great time to purchase a house at a fixed purchase price, and rent the house until you can afford to get your own mortgage. This gives you time to raise your credit score which will lower your monthly payments by getting a better interest rate.

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Gas Prices Across The World – How It Affects Housing

June 20, 2008

Who ever said increased gas prices would only affect consumer spending was not in the real estate business. As the cost of fuel increases it has rippling affects in the housing market as well.

With gas prices now over the 4 dollars per gallon in the United States, now natural gas is going up as well. When this happens home buyers look for smaller homes to keep the energy bills down. The big kicker is home buyers look for homes closer to their work.

What does all this mean. It means the condos and town houses that are close to down town, which is close to work for many blue collared professionals will see an increase in buyer traffic and sales. Now days living 20 driving minutes closer to work can add up to hundreds of dollars a month in savings. When home buyers add these savings up over years they will be in the house, and assuming gas prices keep going up, it makes the home buying decision that much easier.

So if you are wondering how the United States compares with other places in the world, here is a list of gas prices

Country                 $ per gallon
Australia                      5.60
 

Belgium                       8.44
Brazil                           6.02

Canada                        5.49
Denmark                      9.31

Finland                         8.90
France                         8.06

Germany                      9.20
Guatemala                   7.38

Hong Kong                   8.33
India                            5.15

Israel                           7.95
Italy                             8.78

Japan                          5.83
Netherlands                10.11

Norway                      10.37
Portugal                      8.90

Sierra Leone              18.43
Singapore                   6.06

South Korea                7.38
Sweden                      8.71

Turkey                      10.14
United Kingdom          8.56

From looking at this data you can only assume that gas prices are not going to go down in the United States any time soon. In fact, it looks like 4 dollars per gallon is a good deal when you compare our price of fuel with other countries.

Would you like to sell your house and buy a house close to down town. If so check with a local home buyer in your area. They purchase many homes each month all across town in your local area. They then sell these homes to people like you, who are looking for great deals on nice homes.

Sell and Rent Back My House

April 28, 2008

Lets face it, the real estate market has changes and many of you got caught with high mortgage payments and now have a house that you can not sell, or can you? When the real estate market slows, the demand for houses goes down and appreciation stops. The majority of home buyers wait on the side lines for the real estate market to come back around.

If you own a home that you can not afford then you need to sell now, not a few years from now when the home buyers decide to buy. Well know that you still do have options. One great option to sell your house now, is to sell it to a real estate investor and then rent it back. Yes some real estate professionals do buy houses and then allow the home owner to rent it back.

The sell and rent back process is fairly simple actually. If your home qualifies then you sell your house to a professional home buyer, keep living in the house, pay rent, and if you decide you want to purchase the house in the future you have the option to.

The rent back option is great for home owners who are over extended and can not afford their mortgage payment. Possibly they purchased a home and now their mortgage is adjusting and they can not afford the new payment. Just contact your local home buyer, ask them to buy your house and let you rent it back. If your home selling situation works for the real estate investor then you will have no problems.

Another great thing about the sell and rent back home selling option is that you can find out if your selling situation qualifies quickly and painlessly. All offers by professional real estate home buyers are no obligation offers which means you have nothing to loose.

Who knows, you could sell your house this month, get your finances in order and buy back your how in a few months. Like I said the process is simple and can be done quickly. Besides, when the offer is a no obligation offer, you have nothing to loose.