5 Errors Home Shoppers Should Avoid!!!

Real estate professionals say they keep seeing buyers make the same mistakes over and over again in a home purchase. Among some of the common errors they see:

  • Unrealistic time tables: With a regular sale, “assuming you’re preapproved and it’s straightforward, you can probably do it in 30 days, but 45 is more common,” says Ron Phipps, immediate past president of the National Association of REALTORS®. But he advises home buyers to prepare for 45 to 60 days. And if it’s a foreclosure property, they may encounter lien and title issues that could cause delays stretching that to 60 to 75 days, even up to 90 days. And for short sales, that timeframe will greatly depend on whether the lenders have already agreed to it and a preset price, but it could take anywhere from 45 days to even up to nine months, Phipps says.

 

  • Ignorance with financing: Home buyers should learn more about the mortgage process, learn the terminology, and know what questions to ask in shopping around for the best mortgage rate. For example, Carolyn Warren, author of “Homebuyers Beware,” cautions buyers to never tell a lender, “This is my first time, and I don’t know how it all works — and I need you to guide me through the process,” she says. “It’s like putting a sign on your forehead that says, ‘Charge me more.’”

 

  •  “Trash talking” when negotiating: If the home is painted pink and the buyer insists it needs to be repainted, he could risk jeopardizing negotiations. Instead, Phipps suggests that when making an offer, buyers should stress what they like about the home. “Don’t make it adversarial,” he says. A price reduction should be talked about in terms of what the home is worth to that buyer, he says.

 

  • Getting in over their heads: Buyers may be tempted to stretch their budget in order to get the house of their dreams. Phipps suggests buyers don’t stretch themselves so thin that they miss out on having a reserve fund in case they need to make any unexpected repairs once they move in. “In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances,” Phipps says. “So you want to make sure you have some funds behind you.”

 

  • No Reserve Fund:  After finally finding that “dream home,” what buyer isn’t tempted to stretch as far as possible — and drain all available savings — just to make the numbers work? It’s one of the big homebuyer mistakes, Phipps says.Often, buyers fall in love with a property, and they try to rationalize the decision, he says. “You need to be disciplined about it.”Too often, buyers set a price range and then fall in love with something that costs more. So they figure they’ll borrow the difference, Phipps says.But you need a reserve fund — something you hold back to address unexpected problems, like the refrigerator that quits in mid-July, or the “like-new” water heater that dies the day after you move in. Or the realization — after seeing the neighbors sunbathing once too often — that you need a privacy fence, pronto.”In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances,” Phipps says. “So you want to make sure you have some funds behind you.”

Article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/5-errors-home-shoppers-should-avoid

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Crime in Forclosed Homes

According to city data, there were nearly 15,000 abandoned buildings in Chicago as of Oct. 20, most of them a result of foreclosures. Three neighborhoods account for 20 percent of the total: Englewood, West Englewood and Austin.

The city lost 200,000 residents from 2000 to 2010, according to census data. In the area immediately surrounding Mr. Burton’s house, population has dropped by 26 percent. And though some residents are gone, those who remain do not necessarily want to raze the vacant buildings left behind.

The empty buildings are magnets for gang activity, depressing the value of nearby properties. Drug abuse violations and burglaries are the most common crimes taking place in abandoned properties, police report. In Austin, burglaries and illegal drug use make up 74 percent of the 66 incidents reported in the past three months. In Englewood, those crimes were 58 percent of the 85 reported cases of illegal activity. In West Englewood, drugs and burglaries constituted 43 percent of 78 incidents.

“Vacant homes create so many risks to a neighborhood,” said Charles Brown, a retired Chicago police officer living in Englewood. “Murders — we’ve found people dead in them. Attempted murder, rape, all kinds of things. They catch on fire and burn up the house next door — firemen get hurt.”

Jonathan Martin is very familiar with the foreclosed two-flat at 4336 West Wilcox, across from Mr. Burton. He was hired to inspect it by the bank that now owns the property, and he has visited regularly for the past 10 months. In that time squatters have moved in, mold has grown and thieves have stripped nearly all of the copper piping and plumbing.

“It gets worse and worse every time I come out here,” he said. “This is crazy.”

Documents show that in October 2005, at the height of the housing market, Angela Stroud bought the building at 4336 West Wilcox for $210,000. The building went into foreclosure on Sept. 21, 2010, records show. It was vacant by January, Mr. Burton said.

When Mr. Martin made his first inspection, on Jan. 22, there was no damage to the walls, he said. During the summer months the damage increased exponentially, he said. On a day in late October, he walked through the vacant residence with a large flashlight and found that radiators had been ripped from baseboards and nearly every pipe taken away; heaps of plaster had been left on the floor and toilets in the kitchen.

 

To read the full article please visit http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/28/us/foreclosures-lead-to-crime-and-decay-in-abandoned-buildings.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

Picture curtosey of http://www.foreclosurelistings.com/content/foreclosures/foreclosed-house/abandoned-foreclosed-houses-being-taken-over-by-criminals.htm