June 28th, 2011
In the article “Ten Things to Take the Trauma Out of Home Buying,” Tom Ramsey makes some interesting points for buyers in Portland to take into consideration. A few in particular are important to remember, especially in this “buyer’s market.”
If you’ve been considering purchasing a home, I’m sure you’ve heard it. “Now’s the time to do it. It’s a buyer’s market.” And yes, that is true. The market is currently in favor of the buyer. As a result, many buyers feel pressured to find the very best deal for the home of their dreams – and many aren’t willing to settle for less.
We all know now’s the time to buy, and we also know now’s not the best time to sell. People aren’t selling unless they have to, for whatever reason. If you’re a homebuyer who’s been on the prowl, you can vouch that it’s hard enough to find the right home, never mind the right home for as cheap as possible.
Therefore, Ramsey says don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Obviously negotiation is part of the process, but don’t take it too far simply because the market is in your favor.
Ramsey also notes,
Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, any more than there’s a right time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting. Changes don’t usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.
Of course, Ramsey isn’t suggesting you should jump into a purchase without much thought. But remember, if a house is perfect for you, it’s probably perfect for someone else, too. Whether it’s a buyer’s market or not, competitive homes are competitive homes, and they’ll sell regardless.
Which leads to another point of Ramsey’s: Don’t ask for too many opinions. Find a real estate agent and mortgage broker you trust, and trust your instinct. Everyone has a different idea of what makes a perfect home, and if you consult with too many people, you’ll second-guess your self.
Also on that note, accept that no house is ever perfect. Make a list of the things you absolutely need in a home, versus the things you would prefer, but that aren’t deal breakers. This will save you from looking at homes that aren’t for you, and it will help you keep your priorities in check. If necessary, factor in maintenance and repair costs in your buying budget so that you can make the home as perfect as possible.
Make sure to also include priorities beyond the actual home, like location and amenities. As Ramsey says, your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so make sure to consider outside factors.
And, as we’ve said before,
Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate insurance availability, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.