7 Things All Buyers Ought to Know Concord NH
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7 Things All Buyers Ought to Know
by PJ Wade
"Ignorance is bliss" was never said about real estate purchases for 7 good reasons:
1. "Knowledge is bliss" may not make it as a buyer's slogan either, because you don't have to know it all—just what's relevant to success as you define it. Different sets of knowledge are important in different buying situations, so the "bliss" generalization may not be specific enough to be useful. "If it is to be, it's up to me" could be an excellent mantra since determination will drive buyers, both to discover what they don't know and then, to fill that knowledge gap. This combined effort will assure a buyer is well equipped to make confident buying decisions.
2. Generalizations are self-defeating when evaluating properties since it is how each is unique that addresses specific value to a specific buyer—if you'll excuse the generalization. All first-time buyers should not seek the same type of real estate solution just because they have never owned real estate before. Each of these buyers, whether they purchase alone, as a couple or with several friends or family members, has a different set of needs, weaknesses and advantages. When generalities are stressed, real estate solutions often concentrate on weaknesses like low down payments. Customized solutions, based on real estate knowledge, should focus on strengths which would counterbalance apparent weaknesses. For instance, first-time buyers may have more creative determination, which can allow them to tolerate living with boarders or tenants. These contributors to mortgage payments create a number of financial benefits and can turn an otherwise financially-out-of-reach property into a great investment solution. (See Pur-Plexing for more on this topic.)
3. Assumptions cost money and waste time. Assume nothing, including that you know what you don't know. Experienced real estate professionals have a wealth of practical knowledge available to fill your knowledge gaps, but you have to be receptive to gain the full benefit. For instance, do you ask questions and listen to the answers? Find out what you're assuming when you view properties, evaluate value and prepare an offer to purchase. The conscious effort and deliberate intent of this clarification means money in your pocket. Determination will enable you to put your advantages into action and use the real estate professional's knowledge to overcome weaknesses. Remember the parsing of "assume" ( make an "ass-[out of]-u-[and]-me" ) if you find yourself thinking or saying, "But I assumed…" and get back in control.
4. Fear has driven too many buyers to act in haste and repent in "if only I'd…" whining that can go on for years. Fear of missing out in a down market or in an up market, or in a variety of other "losing out" scenarios, can cause buyers to dive into a buying or not buying decision which may not be in their best interest. That's why working with a buyer agent, who places your interests first, can be a great strategy for ensuring you have all the knowledge necessary to protect yourself and gain financial advantage at the same time.
5. The impossible may just take a little longer in real estate, but the impossible can happen. Your dream property can be within reach wherever you start financially, but you'll need a solid set of strategies to get you there, not just dreams. Serious about owning your own horse ranch or waterfront castle? Talk to an experienced real estate professional who works in your ideal location to chart a reverse-engineered, long-term course toward that goal. With each property you buy along this clear path, you'll move closer to your high-value goal. It may take two or more real estate purchases and some clever investing, but if will be an interesting progression. If you're determined and build the right team—real estate professional, lawyer, mortgage broker, home inspector…—what's impossible?
6. The unexpected must be expected when buying a home, cottage or investment property. Worst case scenarios, contingency strategies and "Plan B" alternatives are creative tools in preparing to achieve financial gains and desired priorities. These approaches help you react favourably to the unexpected, but hopefully not unanticipated, and take advantage of the opportunities that lie there. Experienced professionals can predict the types of expected and unexpected happenings relevant to your situation. It could be taking advantage of the timing for new listings or the types of lenders beyond banks that hold financing choices for you. Negotiations are all about the unexpected. Most buyers are so focused on purchase price they forget that closing date, number of conditions, what's included in the purchase and other factors can weigh in to reduce the final sale price—that's where professional negotiators come in.
7. Cashflow is king. Beyond the purchase price, cash is necessary to pay for lawyer fees, title insurance or a survey, reimbursing sellers who paid the whole year's property taxes, and on the list of closing costs goes. The professionals involved will provide you with details on possible expenses. While you may have enough cash to close, do you have enough cashflow for owning? Over the first year, unexpected expenses can crop up, so create a projected ownership budget at the same time you go over purchasing costs. This foresight should keep you out of the "house rich—cash poor" category.
With real estate, the best goal is not "buying," but "owning and enjoying" for a lot of great reasons.
Published: November 17, 2009
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