The smart approach to buying a house

by Phil Lowe
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Buying a home is never easy. It is one of the largest financial commitments you will make in your life. If you gave your marriage a lot of consideration before diving in, if you looked at a number of jobs before deciding on your career, then you need to realize that a house purchase is a bigger decision. Be careful with your purchase, be diligent in your research, and be smart in your transactions. Follow our advice below to make a house purchase as pain-free as possible.

Choose your agent(s)

You should not purchase a house without talking to local agents. Yes they are money-grabbing vampires who want a piece of every purchase that is made and everything they do is for a small percentage but they are vampires with knowledge so you need to use them.

Work with real estate agents that are prevalent in the area you are looking at. They may have exclusive rights over some houses that you didn’t even know were for sale. They may have knowledge of the community and know when a house is likely to appear on the market. They will know a lot about the area and be able to give you advice on schools and local amenities.

Don’t feel that your choice of a real estate agent is a monogamous one. You can partner with as many real estate agents as you like. Of course, the more you choose the more they will keep you busy. We think two large real estate agents and one small provider is the best way to go. It is worth at least talking to these three before settling on one or two for the process of your purchase.

Always visit the home

When you see the photos online every home looks amazing. Estate agents use wide-angle lenses to make each room look bigger and they use photoshop to make every room look brighter. Before you get excited about a potential purchase actually visit the place and get a feel for it. If it feels right and gets you excited, start thinking about making an offer.

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Consider the area

Try and get an idea of who the neighbors are and what the local area is like. Visit a number of times during different times of the day and week. There is that classic scene in the movie Seven where the family purchased a home after only being shown it quickly at certain points during the day. It turns out that a train would pass by every hour and shake the entire house. Don’t be so easily fooled. While there may not be train tracks nearby you may find that your neighbors are loud or that there are small groups of people hanging around the local area.

Consider the future of the area

Your house purchase is likely for a long time. Don’t simply look at the local area now, think of what it will become. Check local council plans to see if any developments are set to take place and talk to the local community. If you buy something with a view of the water you may be devastated in one year’s time when they build a massive building right in front of your view. Do your homework so that you are one step ahead of the game.

The final piece of advice is to take your time. While you may look at one house and think it is great and that you won’t find anything better, don’t rush into an offer. Look around and get an idea of what the average market price is. Once you have a feel for it you will know when a true bargain comes up and you will be ready to strike.

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