When looking to buy a home, there are some ground rules that are just a good idea to follow. At the bottom of this blog, there is a great top ten list of rules to follow when buying a home that was written by someone at the National Association of Realtors. I don’t think I could say it better myself.
But since it is a buyers market in the country as well as here in Ashland, Medford and Jackson county, I was thinking I would give my take on some of these Rules.
Part 1: Commitment.
This one is even more critical now than it has been in the past 10+ years. Real estate, while an investment, is not a short term money maker. A home is a place to live, a place to have parties, a place to improve, decorate, paint, call your own. Everyone who pays a mortgage, or rents, is buying a house. The renters are just buying it for someone else. Owners have tax advantages and there is principle reduction. But it comes with a commitment. And only in a market that is appreciating in double figures a year, does it make sense to sell when you haven’t owned your house for more than 2 years. And I don’t know of any place in the country that is seeing double digit home appreciation.
So, before you buy. Make sure you like the house, the neighborhood, the town, the street, and be ready to stay put for a little while.
Ten Rules to Follow When Buying A Home
1. Make a commitment. Commit yourself to your new home for at least a couple of years
before making your next move.
2. Money matters. If you’re considering a mortgage, shore up your credit and get a copy of
your credit report.
3. Get pre-approved. Save yourself the time and grief of looking at houses you can’t afford.
4. Determine how large your mortgage can be. Explore different loan options to determine
what is best for you.
5. Decide what (and where) you want to buy. Prioritize your needs (i.e., location, schools,
6. Consider your re-sale value. Even if you don’t have school-aged kids, a strong school
district is a good thing.
7. Do your homework. Bid based on sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood.
8. Calculate the hidden costs. Property taxes, insurance, maintenance and association
fees can impact your wallet over time.
9. Don’t be house poor. Double and triple check to be sure you haven’t maxed yourself out
on the cost of your home and left nothing for maintenance, etc.
10. Get help. Hire a REALTOR® to get the most for your money. It pays to have
someone looking out for your interests. (note: when it says Hire a Realtor, make sure you sign a buyers service contract with the Realtor that spells out the Realtor’s responsibilities to you.)