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10 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A HOME (pt3)



8. The Local Housing Market

Because the housing market has recently experienced turbulent times in certain areas and is prone to these turbulent times, it is a smart move for home buyers to evaluate the local housing market before making an actual purchase. Special items to evaluate include the area's median home price, the average appreciation rate, and the expected growth for the neighborhood in terms of population and employment.
It's critical that you buyers know the market they are looking in. The asking prices for houses are not always reflective of their true value and the only way to be able to estimate a house value is to look at as many houses as possible. Take notes and find out what they sold for. Until recently, many buyers were afraid of missing out on future price gains or being priced out of the market. If you are renting and saving as much as you can, then you will be fine. At that point you should be able to purchase a house fairly quickly. If you are looking for the perfect house or trying to time the market then you will never buy a house. It is not necessary to hunt for a house for 10 years, but doing enough research is always key. The reality is that you will be happy with a good percentage of all the houses you look at, so as long as you can eliminate the worst choices then you will be thrilled with your new home.


9. Legal Considerations

If you are looking at a home that is brand new, do not always assume that the house is free of defects. New homes can have problems too. This is why you should always check out the builder's track record by talking to neighbors, calling the Better Business Bureau, or by asking the builder for references that you can speak with personally.

If the home's title has liens against it or other restrictions, the seller may not have the legal right to sell you the home. But, that doesn't mean that they won't give it a try. This is why a title search is a step every home buyer should take. If you hire a company to perform the search, be sure you look over the results of their effort very carefully.

By law, sellers are required to notify you in regards to any known defects associated with the home or property. These defects may include anything from the presence of lead paint in the home to easements on the property. Before you buy a home, you should carefully evaluate the disclosure statement provided to you by the seller. If you see anything you don't like or don't understand, ask questions or do something about it. There are many legal issues connected with buying a home and many legal pitfalls which can endanger the unwary purchaser. Whether you are buying a new or resale home, you need to know that all these legal issues and potential problems will be properly handled on your behalf. You want to rest assured that when your purchase is completed and you take possession of your home, you have full legal ownership and that you got all that you bargained for. A lawyer can help guide you through the entire process of buying a home and ensure that your legal rights are protected.


When should you get a lawyer involved?

The best answer to this question is : as soon as possible. When buying a home, the sooner you bring your lawyer into the picture, the sooner he/she can start working to protect your interests. It is advisable that you see a lawyer before you as the home buyer sign the purchase contract. That way your lawyer can ensure the purchase contract contains the necessary legal language to protect you should things not turn out as originally expected. Your lawyer can insert certain conditions or escape clauses which would allow you to get out of the deal if, for example, you could not obtain the necessary mortgage financing or it turned out that there were serious problems with the physical condition of the dwelling which were not evident when you entered into the contract.

When it comes to buying a home, the old saying An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is very applicable. Once you sign the purchase contract you are legally bound by the language it contains. If the contract language fails to protect you on a certain issue then it may be difficult or impossible to remedy the problem. In other words, you could be legally obliged to go through with the purchase and be stuck with the problem. On the other hand, if you had involved a lawyer who built the necessary safeguards to protect you into the contract language, you would be in a much stronger position, both from legal and negotiating perspective, should a problem arise prior to closing.


10. Desirability/Flexibility

When thinking of buying a home, it is not enough that you love it, but it must also appeal to a broad range of potential buyers/renters so that when the time comes to sell it or rent it out, you have a wide audience to advertise your home to. Try to envision yourself as someone with typical tastes in a home, and ask yourself if your potential new home has these features. Don'™t buy the home that will only appeal to a few people, or you might end up stuck with the property for a long time if you ever decide to sell it or rent it.

Flexibility is another thing to consider before buying a home. How likely are you to stay in your home as the primary resident? Does the thought of a 30 year mortgage keeping you locked in a specific location sound scary to you? In a declining real estate market, buying a home more than likely means you won'™t be able to sell it for a profit (or even break even) for a long time, locking you into your home and restricting your flexibility to move to other areas. Is this something you are ready for?


Summary

When considering purchasing a house, you can never go wrong if you try to learn all you can about real estate. You must also spend time thinking about your budget and the local real estate market. Buying a house can be a tedious and stressful process, but if you think wisely and act cautiously and carefully, the chances that you will find a home that you love and enjoy are very high.

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