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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For renters, buying a home pays off after three years on average!!!

Home buying versus renting

Real estate website Zillow has a provocative data point for every renter thinking about buying these days: That move pays off after just three years on average nationwide.

The company, which lists for-sale and for-rent information on its site, has released a new analysis of what it calls the “break-even horizon,” comparing what it would cost to buy or rent the same home in a number of U.S. markets over time.

The rent-or-buy calculus varies widely depending on where you live.

In the combined Los Angeles and Orange counties, the magic number is 4.3 years, assuming the buyer has made a 20% down payment. Buying wins out after only 1.6 year in the desert community of Banning. But Newport Beach residents must wait 14 years for buying to make more financial sense than renting.

The analysis takes into account a host of factors potential buyers should think about when considering the leap, including the down payment, mortgage and rental payments, buying and selling costs, property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs and tax deductions. The analysis adjusts for inflation and forecasts home value and rental price appreciation.

Zillow senior economist Svenja Gudell said the data should help homeowners get a rough and immediate sense of whether buying makes sense in a particular area in relation to their financial situation.

“For a home buyer out there, it is really tough to get a good grip on the buy-versus-rent decision,” Gudell said. Although buying a home is a deeply personal decision, she said, the analysis gives consumers “a sense for ‘Am I ready to make this decision?’”

The new take on the classic rent-versus-buy debate comes at a tenuous moment for the housing market. Many analysts believe that a housing bottom has been reached but don’t expect a return to the heady days of the real estate bubble. There is already some concern about the strength of the recovery, with home sales slowing in June as inventory remained tight and buyers paid higher prices.

At the same time, rents are rising, housing affordability is at record levels, and mortgage interest rates remain very low. These factors are prompting many renters to consider homeownership.

Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate, noted that the main lesson from the subprime mortgage debacle and the housing bust was that homeownership shouldn’t be pushed at all costs. Federal policy has been adjusted to support this new point of view.

“One of the things we have learned in recent years is, obviously, house prices don’t always go up, and even over the very long term in certain markets homeownership may only offer a minimal return,” Gabriel said.

“What we have all learned is to treat homeownership as a bit of a dangerous animal. You know it’s not always good, and it’s not good for everyone.”

Things to consider when buying, particularly in an slowly appreciating market, include how mobile will you be, your financial situation, marital status, career goals and personality, Gabriel said.

Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, added that in many regions buying has become increasingly attractive compared with renting. There are also non-financial reasons for buying.

“I can enjoy living in this house for the rest of my life, and nobody can throw me out of it,” he said. “You are consuming something, and you have control over it, and control has some value.”

Zillow’s analysis, which covered more than 200 metropolitan areas and 7,500 U.S. cities, found that buying is a better financial decision than renting in the Riverside-San Bernardino area if you live in the home for at least two years. That rises to 3.2 years in the area including Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

The San Francisco metropolitan area’s break-even score of 5.9 years encompasses a range from two years to 24.3 years.

The Joys of Homeownership

Today’s experts spout off the latest statistics about long-term wealth, home values, and interest rates, yet there’s a much more sentimental side to homeownership. In fact, many home buyers are drawn to homeownership for these warm and fuzzy reasons. Owning a home allows you to put down roots, both figuratively and literally. On one hand you become part of a neighborhood and community. When you rent, neighbors come and go as quickly as leases renew. Homeowners, however, tend to stay put longer.

What does this mean for you? You can develop, many times, lifelong relationships. This also means your home will see you through many of life’s important milestones. It makes sense. Many people enter the realm of homeownership as young couples looking to build a nest. They plan on starting their own family and need room to expand and grow. These family homes will see many firsts and will be the container of countless memories. Additionally, homeownership gives families more room to entertain and this means extended family will also share in building memories.

It’s not just young families, though, that seek homeownership. Families with teenagers seek larger homes to room their growing brood. Retiring adults may wish to start a new phase and new memories, seeking out warmer climates or smaller, more manageable homes. There is a certain pride that comes with homeownership. This little piece of property and land is yours. There’s no one that can evict you or take it away. This security allows people to form deep attachments to both the land and home.

This pride of ownership spurs many owners to make improvements and additions, both to keep the home in working order and to make it more comfortable and usable, which in turns improves neighborhood values and overall curb appeal. Why do people buy? They may be initially motivated by changes in circumstance, such as a new job or a new family, but they buy based on emotional responses. People want a house that can become their home, where they’ll fill it with good times and memories. Be sure to remember this sentimental side of homeownership the next time you read about stocks, bonds, and housing woes.

 Article by Carla Hill

Picture curtosey of http://myfirstplanohome.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/the-8-steps-to-buying-your-first-home/