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Avoid mistakes in homebuying

As we see the seller’s regain control in the housing market, there are ways you can position yourself to submit your strongest offer.

  • Get pre-approved! Know the top dollar you want to spend and more importantly be comfortable with the monthly payment.
  • Know the financial impact insurance is going to have on your monthly payment and understand what zones maximize your purchasing power.
  • If you are looking at existing construction be realistic about your strengths when it comes to renovations and or repairs. Know when to walk away.
  • Realize home inspections are not code inspections.
  • Make sure to use contingencies only when necessary.
  • And most importantly, make sure someone who can professionally write and submit your offer represents you.

It is fun to browse websites to find the perfect place to call home, however, it is essential to meet with a mortgage loan specialist first. Before making decisions such as brick or stucco, another important factor to consider is insurance. The final step before setting out to find your dream home is to make sure you have representation. Realtors adhere to a strict code of ethics and understand the complexities of today’s market. There are agents who hold designations such as Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) who have special training that they can put to work for you.

So you have found the perfect home, now what? You make an offer, you negotiate and you go under contract. Chances are your agent will encourage you to hire a home inspector. Keep in mind a home inspection is not a loophole to get out of a contract and it is not a code inspection. It is a visual inspection conducted by a state licensed inspector to bring possible deficiencies or safety concerns to your attention. This maybe a time where some negotiation is required between the buyer and seller in order to move forward with the transaction.

Next is the appraisal. Remember that sales do not always equal comparables. While we are seeing our local inventory shrink and sellers regain a stronger position in the market, there is a possibility that the home may not appraise for what you have offered. Currently, days on market are shorter and the prices as well as the interest rates are inching up so we are seeing fewer homes come in below appraisal.

After navigating these steps you will find yourself looking forward to the closing date, especially since there is no place like home.


Stephanie Shaw is broker/owner of Latter & Blum Shaw Properties. Reach her at (228) 896-6060.

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