House hunting seems like it’s all fun and games, but it’s called “hunting” for a reason. This becomes especially true if it is a sellers market.
So, what’s a buyer like you to do? Simple, when you find a home that you like, that is within your means, make an offer. If you really want the home, keep the offer fair.
Here are some other tips to help you with your house hunt.
Step One Affordability:
Know what you can afford and what you can actually spend. Banks will lend you a lot of money, that DOES NOT mean you should spend it all.
Keep in mind things like: a new roof, a hot water heater, flooding, small renos or a car breaking down. Keep enough money in your pocket to take care of life. Spending more than 40% of your income on a house is a bad idea. Plain and simple.
Step Two know your numbers:
Know the comparables. If there are bidding wars and house prices are escalating, be ready to walk away. When everyone is going crazy and buying is probably a good time to sit and wait. Do not let FOMO talk you into spending too much on a house. It’s good to keep in mind the cost if you need to sell that home in 5 years due to things such as, moving to a new city, divorce, etc.
These are tough to think about, but a savvy buyer must take these into consideration.
Step Three house hunting needs versus wants:
Get clear on your wants and needs.
Make a list of everything you want in a home, and then highlight which of those things are must-haves. The more precise you are about your wants and needs, the less time you’ll waste on homes that aren’t a good fit. Now you can spend your energy putting in an offer when you find a property that appeals.
Once you find that home that fits your “must haves” make a fair offer. If your offer is rejected, you probably have room for negotiations. However, if you cannot come to an agreement, do not get emotionally attached as you might have to walk away.
Step Four Realtors:
You need a great buyers agent. Remember that realtor commissions are paid by the seller and so there is little downside to working with a buyers agent. Pick one you trust, you like and you know will get the job done for you. It’s also great to work with an agent as sometimes they have what is called a pocket listing, or sometimes they know about houses about to hit the market. Working with an agent helps you be privy to that information.
Step Five House Hunting Highs and Lows:
Get ready for a roller coaster. If you come into this with facts, knowing it could be hard and working with great people… well, that’s half the battle.
As always, if you need help buying or selling your house, we are here to help.
Gregg Bamford and Ryan Bamford