Looking For a Property


House Hunting   What Do You Want and Need In a Home?    First Time Homebuyer Mistakes   Gather Information

8 Tips to Guide you in Your Home Search    Join Our Online & Social Media Network    How Buyers Find the House They Buy




House Hunting

Buying a home can be a particularly stressful and trying experience, but it will be much smoother for consumers who relax and take their time during the search for a house.

One of the key issues that will arise during the whole process involves knowing exactly how much to pay for a property. To prepare, house-hunters should take careful notes on each property’s marketing data such as selling price, price changes, length of time the home has been on the market, and differences in the list and sales price. This will enable the potential buyer to get a better feel for what is a good deal and what is not.

In addition, making the transaction contingent upon a property appraisal that matches the purchase price can greatly help buyers avoid paying too much for a home. Home-seekers should also keep in close contact with their REALTOR®, as this will also make the process less stressful.

Finally, buyers should have high expectations at the start, but be ready to make compromises eventually. There is no such thing as the “perfect home.” However, with a little give and take, buyers should be able to find a house that comes close to meeting all of their needs and desires.




What Do You Want and Need In a Home?

Finding a new home can be exciting. But deciding what you truly want and need – and can afford – can be challenging. Making these decisions begins with setting priorities among many different preferences.

Most homebuyers invariably face trade-offs. Your buyer’s representative can play a key role in helping you sort out your options. He or she can also offer important insights specific to your local market.

SOME CONSIDERATIONS

BASIC HOME FEATURES

  • Do you prefer a single-family detached home, townhome, condominium, or other type of property?
  • Desired number of bedrooms and baths
  • Preferences regarding kitchen, dining, family rooms, etc. and preferred home layout
  • High-priority home features, such as kitchen appliances, fireplace, etc.
  • Other types of rooms needed (e.g., a home office or a hobby space)
  • Storage spaces (closets, outdoor shed, etc.)
  • Need for a garage or parking space, and if so, for how many cars?

OTHER HOME PREFERENCES

  • Ranch, two story, split level, etc.
  • Age and style of home (Victorian, bungalow, modern, etc.)
  • How important is energy efficiency or other green home features?

NEIGHBORHOOD & LOCATION

  • Commuting considerations (to work, shopping, etc.)
  • Proximity to desirable features (such as the lake, town, school, hospital, etc.) Views – how important is to find your ideal view (overlooking the lake for example) or avoiding a bad one (a busy highway)?

LOT CHARACTERISTICS

  • Size and shape, including back, front and side yards
  • Landscaping considerations – the need for open play areas, privacy, patio space, decking, etc.
  • Home orientation – is it important for your home to face a particular direction?
  • Do you want or need a lakefront lot or a lake view lot?

LIFE AT HOME

  • If you’ll be sharing your home with children, pets, live-in parents or others, how does this impact your housing preferences? Both now, and in the future? (For example, pets may require a fenced-in yard; older parents may dictate one-floor living.)
  • Proximity to neighbors

RELATED COSTS

  • Homeowner association and/or dock association fees?
  • Property Taxes

TRADE-OFFS

  • How much do you want to invest in a home beyond the purchase price, either financially or in terms of sweat equity, if you can’t find exactly what you want?
  • Are you willing to consider other neighborhoods that provide better affordability?

RESALE

  • How long do you plan to own this home? How does this impact the type of home you will buy, how much you’ll spend, and your choice of location?



First Time Homebuyer Mistakes

  1. They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal
  2. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
  3. They don’t find the right real estate professional who’s willing to help them through the home buying process.
  4. They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.
  5. They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.
Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. © 2008. All rights reserved.



Gather Information

Before you buy the home of your dreams, take the time to gather the following information and make sure you are okay with what you find:

  1. Condition Of Home - For your protection – get a home inspection!

  2. Know The Lot Boundaries - Before your inspection period is over, have the boundaries marked and inspect them to make sure there are no encroachments.

  3. Zoning Restrictions - Most of the property around the lake is rural areas outside city limits. However, just to be safe, find out if the property you are purchasing is zoned.

  4. Restrictive Covenants - Ask your REALTOR® for a copy of any/all restrictive covenants for the property you are purchasing. Do this before the inspection period is over.

  5. Contingencies - A contingency is a provision placed in a contract which requires the completion of a certain act or the happening of a particular event before the contract is binding. If you want any contingency, make sure it is written into your sales contract.

  6. Taxes - Generally the taxes on your newly acquired property will go up after the first year you purchase it. This is because the County Assessor will reassess the property based on your sales price. Ask your REALTOR® to figure an estimate of what your taxes will be after they are reassessed.

  7. Easements - Find out what easements exist on the property you intend to purchase – again, find this out during your in



8 Tips to Guide you in Your Home Search

1. RESEARCH BEFORE YOU LOOK.

Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing.

2. BE REALISTIC.

It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a guide to evaluate each property.

3. GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER.

Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs. Then, talk to a lender and get prequalified for a mortgage. This will save you the heartache later of falling in love with a house you can’t afford.

4. DON’T ASK TOO MANY PEOPLE FOR OPINIONS.

It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion, but be ready to make the final decision on your own.

5. DECIDE YOUR MOVING TIMELINE.

When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area? All of these factors will help you determine when you should move.

6. THINK LONG TERM.

Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in this home for a longer period? This decision may dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as the type of mortgage terms that will best suit you.

7. INSIST ON A HOME INSPECTION.

If possible, get the seller to purchase a home warranty for you to cover defects for one year.

8. GET HELP FROM A REALTOR®.

Hire a real estate professional who specializes in buyer representation. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. Buyer’s reps are usually paid out of the seller’s commission payment.

Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) © 2008.


Join OurOnline & Social Media Network

You are searching for real estate to purchase. This means you need to be connected online so you can be informed and know about all of the current listings that meet your criteria.

Eufaula Lakeshore Realty provides you with several options that allow you to stay connected and informed so you will know about current and new listings as soon as they go on the market. Consider these options:


INNOVIA MLS SYSTEM

Ask your REALTOR® to set you up on your very own “My Listing Cart.” He/she can enter your house/property criteria into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) online program and establish your own listing cart. This program will then email you properties that meet your criteria as soon as they appear on the MLS. Criteria changed? Just ask your REALTOR® to update your criteria in your listing cart.


FACEBOOK

Join us on Facebook! See all of our new listings as soon as they go on the market. Also, stay informed about our news and events!


TWITTER

Follow us on Twitter!



How Buyers Find the House They Buy


INFORMATION SOURCES USED IN HOME SEARCH

Internet 90%
Real Estate Agent 87%
Yard Sign 53%
Open House 45%
Print Newspaper Advertisement 27%
Home Book/Magazine 18%

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