Thursday, July 19, 2007

Home Buying Strategies

There's a good post at DebtFree about buying a home. I've used purchasing at pre-foreclosure, submitting low-ball offers on houses that have been on the market for a long time, buying "as is" as my main strategies. I also look for other "don't wanters' - estates, divorces, vacant homes, etc. HUD homes have never appealed to me. Usually they are full of problems (mold) and over priced.

I was watching a show on HGTV called "My First House" and saw a Realtor give a client terribly bad advice. A young woman was buying her first home and the house had been on the market for a while with the owner already reducing price once. For some reason, the woman felt that she had to give the seller a "win-win" offer. So she offered the asking price. Unless you are in a hot market with multiple offers coming to sellers, I think that this advice is almost bordering in negligent if not malpractice. Maybe she was using the sellers agent which carries a huge conflict of interest.

Here's my rules of buying:
  • never use a sellers agent
  • never offer asking price
  • always ask for concessions (closing costs, upgrades, etc.)
  • never buy on emotions, buy on value

I always buy "as is" now so that I can reduce price, but for a first timer you probably want the option to get an inspection.

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