Here are 5 more tips to maximize your money.
- Take your Time
Don’t let anyone pressure you into making a decision that you’re not ready to make. The perfect home for you may not exist, or you may not be able to afford it, but that doesn’t mean you should settle. It definitely doesn’t mean you should let a pushy Realtor or seller pressure you into making a quick decision.
- How to Make an Offer
I work with a number of Real Estate Investors. One of them told me years ago when I first got into Real Estate that “My first offer is almost embarrassing to make”. What he meant by that was that he was going super low to get a feel for the situation. He had a higher number he was willing to go to, but always wanted to start low, and if he couldn’t get it below his top number, he walked. While that may be good advice for someone that is buying and selling a lot of homes; it’s not always a good idea to play that game when buying your own home.Of course you don’t want to pay more than you think the property is worth, or what you can afford. But be reasonable with your first offer. Most sellers will list their homes a little higher than what they expect to get, anticipating a lower offer and room for negotiation. If you ‘Love’ the house, refer back to my previous email about emotional decisions; but if you really like the house and someone else is bidding on it, you are going to have to be a little more aggressive with your first offer.
- Don’t Save Money by not doing an Inspection
By spending a few hundred dollars to have an impartial, professional inspector come take a look at the house, you could save thousands. If you have a sales agreement with an inspection contingency, this will offer a 2nd round of negotiations based on the result, but it could also show something extremely bad with the house that you would either want fixed, or could cause you to back out of the sale.
- Know the FULL Cost of Owning a Home
When you rent, you pay the rent, and maybe some utilities. When you are the owner, now you have to pay the mortgage, insurance, taxes, (maybe) mortgage insurance, utilities, maintenance, and possibly some other monthly fees. Make sure you do your due diligence and investigate all of these expenses to make sure you can afford them.
- Shop Around
So you have found a house and are under contract to buy it! Now you have to set-up the above mentioned utilities and buy insurance. Before committing to the first number that comes up on google for ‘Garbage’, call around and get prices. Same for cable, internet, lawn/snow, insurance, and any other service providers. A little patience could save you a couple hundred dollars per month.