We have recently married and are hoping to start a family in the next year or two and want to purchase our first home before having children. We currently rent, but feel the time is right to begin looking for our first home. It is extremely important to us that we get a good deal. Getting a good deal is number one on our list of priorities, as it will help ensure that our home purchase will not only turn out to be a great place to live, but also a good investment when we eventually need to sell. What tips can you provide for getting a good deal?
Stephanie and Mark, Fruita
Stephanie and Mark,
Great question as getting a good deal is always at or near the top of many home buyer list. First make sure you define your idea of a “good deal”. There is a difference between a “good deal” and a “steal”. Steals are a lot harder to come by and there are many lost good deals in the quest of a getting a steal. I have heard a saying that says, you make your money when you buy, not when you sell and I believe it to be true. There are several things you can do to help ensure that you get a good deal when you purchase.
Get Educated: The more you know about the market and the price range in which you are purchasing, the more likely you are to get a deal when you purchase. Knowledge is power and part of getting a good deal is being able to recognize one when you are presented with it and making a realistic offer. I have seen many a “good deal” lost because the buyer did not recognize the deal and did not make a realistic offer.
Find a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent: Notice I said knowledgeable. Again an agent who can help you not only find, but identify a good deal is a huge asset. You need an advocate who is scouring the market for you, looking for that “just right” deal.
Use a Reputable Local Lender and Get Prequalified: Once you have found your “good deal” you need to be ready to pounce and pounce with confidence that the sellers can appreciate. A reputable lender behind you will help you beat out other bidders. Trust me, sometimes it’s not all about how much the offer is, sometimes it’s more about how likely is it to close. The prevalence of fly by the seat of their pants lenders adds weight to an offer backed by a reputable and trusted lending partner.
Be Decisive: Part of the art of getting a good deal is the skill of being decisive. Don’t hem n’ haw, when you decide to act, act decisively and don’t look back. Steps 1-3 above will help you be decisive. I have also seen many deals get lost, while waiting on a decision.
Get a Good Inspection: Part of getting a good deal is making sure that your good deal is still a good deal after you close. Your good deal, may not be such a good deal if it needs a new roof after living there 6 months.