3 Mistakes Every Home Buyer should avoid
Mistake #1: Thinking you can’t afford it.
Today, buying the home of your dreams is easier than ever before. Many people who thought that buying the home they wanted was simply out of their reach are now enjoying a new lifestyle in their very own new home. Buying a home is one of the smartest financial decision you will ever make. I personally own three homes so I firmly believe in Real Estate investment. In fact, Canadian home owners would be financially broke at retirement if it weren’t for one saving grace – the equity in their home. Furthermore, mortgage rates are cheaper and more flexible today than ever. Real estate values have always risen steadily. Of course there are peaks and valleys, but the long term the trend is a consistent increase. This means that every month when you make a mortgage payment the amount that you owe on the home goes down and the value typically increases. This owe less-worth more situation is called equity build-up and is the reason you can’t afford not to buy. Paying rent only puts money into someone elses equity. Even if you have little money for a down payment or credit problems, chances are that you can still buy that new home. It just comes down to knowing the right strategies, and working with the right people. See below.
Mistake #2: Not hiring a buyer’s agent to represent you.
Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it is often the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime. At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated. New technology, laws, procedures and competition from other buyers require buyer agents to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism. For many homebuyers, the process turns into a terrible, stressful ordeal. In addition, making the wrong decisions can end up costing you thousands of dollars. It does not have to be this way!
Work with a buyer’s agent who has a keen understanding of the real estate business and who is on your side. Buyer’s agents have a fiduciary duty to you. That means they should be loyal to only you and are obligated to look out for your best interests. Buyer’s agents can help you find the best home, the best lender and the best inspector. Best of all, in most cases, the buyer’s agent is paid out of the seller’s commission, even though he/she works for you. Trying to buy a home without an agent at all is, well…unthinkable.
Mistake #3: Getting an Over-Priced Inspection.
Unfortunately, Home Inspectors, are not regulated by any government agency. So for the consumer it is Caveat Emptor, Let the Buyer Beware!
You can protect yourself from un-experienced home inspectors by asking some basic questions. Some of these should be:
1. How long have you been doing home inspections. Ask to see a copy of their business license.
2. How many inspections did you perform this year, and how many last year. Ask for references from a couple of years ago or longer if possible.
3. What courses did you take and when did you graduate. Ask to have copy of certificate at inspection. This will allow you to ascertain how long they have been “Practicing”.
4. What experience qualifies you to be a Home Inspector….sales and factory work are scary…
5. Ask for a quick run down of items he inspects…should be quick and knowledgeable.
6. Qualifications…should be on web-site if they are relevant to home inspections.
Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware Buying a Home does not come with a guarantee! Ask your Realtor to question Sellers about Important Issues, such as:
- Has there ever been any Water Damage or Flooding?
- Is there any Vermiculite or Asbestos in the house?
- Is there any Aluminum Wiring in the home?
- Has there been any Insurance Claims for property?
- When was the Roof last replaced?
- Ask about Water Supply & Septic if rural property.
OREA has stopped requiring seller to fill out property information sheets do to large amount of law suits. You can still request this, which may give you some legal standing if seller knowingly provides you with false information.
Cost of Home Inspection is cheap compared to cost of buying a home.
Home Inspection Guarantee is good for 30 days after you take possession.
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