10 Best Kept Secrets To Prepare For Buying A Home

Dated: 12/09/2014

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10 Best-Kept Secrets To Prepare For Buying a HomeGet the most outof your money with these handy home-buying tips.

BuyingSecret #10: Keep Your Money Where It Is

It’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to sixmonths before buying a new home. You don’t want to take any big chances withyour credit profile. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want acomplete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. If youopen new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big-ticket items,you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan.

BuyingSecret #9: Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan

There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer whohas a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Gettingpre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information andthey’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you.Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are notrunning around looking at houses you can't afford. It also gives you theopportunity to shop around for the best deal and the best interest rates. Doyour research: Learn about junk fees, processing fees or points and make surethere aren’t any hidden costs in the loan.

BuyingSecret #8: Avoid a Border Dispute
It’s absolutely essential to get a survey done on your property so you knowexactly what you’re buying. Knowing precisely where your property lines are maysave you from a potential dispute with your neighbors. Also, your property taxis likely based on how much property you have, so it is best to have anaccurate map drawn up.
BuyingSecret # 7: Don’t Try to Time the Market

Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the besttime to buy. Trying to anticipate the housing market is impossible. The besttime to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it. Realestate is cyclical, it goes up and it goes down and it goes back up again. So,if you try to wait for the perfect time, you’re probably going to miss out.

BuyingSecret # 6: Bigger Isn’t Always Better 

Everyone’s drawn to the biggest, most beautiful house on the block. But biggeris usually not better when it comes to houses. There’s an old adage in realestate that says don’t buy the biggest, best house on the block. The largesthouse only appeals to a very small audience and you never want to limitpotential buyers when you go to re-sell. Your home is only going to go up invalue as much as the other houses around you. If you pay $500,000 for a homeand your neighbors pay $250,000 to $300,000, your appreciation is going to belimited. Sometimes it is best to is buy the worst house on the block, becausethe worst house per square foot always trades for more than the biggest house.

BuyingSecret #5: Avoid Sleeper Costs

The difference between renting and home ownership is the sleeper costs. Mostpeople just focus on their mortgage payment, but they also need to be aware ofthe other expenses such as property taxes, utilities and homeowner-associationdues. New homeowners also need to be prepared to pay for repairs, maintenanceand potential property-tax increases. Make sure you budget for sleeper costs soyou’ll be covered and won’t risk losing your house.

BuyingSecret #4: You’re Buying a House – Not Dating It

Buying a house based on emotions is just going to break your heart. If you fallin love with something, you might end up making some pretty bad financialdecisions. There’s a big difference between your emotions and your instincts.Going with your instincts means that you recognize that you’re getting a greathouse for a good value. Going with your emotions is being obsessed with thepaint color or the backyard. It’s an investment, so stay calm and be wise.

BuyingSecret #3: Give Your House a Physical

Would you buy a car without checking under the hood? Of course you wouldn’t.Hire a home inspector. It’ll cost about $200 but could end up saving youthousands. A home inspector’s sole responsibility is to provide you withinformation so that you can make a decision as to whether or not to buy. It’sreally the only way to get an unbiased third-party opinion. If the inspectordoes find any issues with the home, you can use it as a bargaining tool for loweringthe price of the home. It’s better to spend the money up front on an inspectorthan to find out later you have to spend a fortune.

BuyingSecret #2: The Secret Science of Bidding

Your opening bid should be based on two things: what you can afford (becauseyou don’t want to outbid yourself), and what you really believe the property isworth. Make your opening bid something that’s fair and reasonable and isn’tgoing to totally offend the seller. A lot of people think they should go lowerthe first time they make a bid. It all depends on what the market is doing atthe time. You need to look at what other homes have gone for in thatneighborhood and you want to get an average price per square foot. Sizing up ahouse on a price-per-square-foot basis is a great equalizer. Also, see if theneighbors have plans to put up a new addition or a basketball court or tenniscourt, something that might detract from the property’s value down the road.
Today, so manysellers are behind in their property taxes and if you have that valuableinformation it gives you a great card to negotiate a good deal. To find out, goto the county clerk’s office.Sellers respecta bid that is an oddball number and are more likely to take it more seriously.A nice round number sounds like every other bid out there. When you get morespecific the sellers will think you've given the offer careful thought.

BuyingSecret #1: Stalk the Neighborhood

Before you buy, get the lay of the land – drop by morning noon and night. Manyhomebuyers have become completely distraught because they thought they foundthe perfect home, only to find out the neighborhood wasn’t for them. Drive bythe house at all hours of the day to see what’s happening in the neighborhood.Do your regular commute from the house to make sure it is something you candeal with on a daily basis. Find out how far it is to the nearest grocery storeand other services. Even if you don’t have kids, research the schools becauseit affects the value of your home in a very big way. If you buy a house in agood school district versus bad school district even in the same town, thevalue can be affected as much as 20 percent.


 Robert Schmalz California Broker Lic#01813025 
West LA Real Estate Group / Rodeo Realty 
310.505.5571 [email protected]
11940 San Vicente Blvd Suite #100
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Serving all of Santa Monica, Brentwood CA, 
Pacific Palisades and West Los Angeles 

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Robert Schmalz - BRE 01813025

DBA "West Los Angeles Real Estate Group" ....

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