Thursday, April 23, 2015

Why Now Is Still a Great Time To Buy: Tips for a Home Buyer

"It's a seller's market out there!" I hear that phrase quite often in day to day conversations when discussing what I do for a living. Lower inventory of homes in the North Texas area have certainly made for an interesting market, there is still hope for a buyer yet. Now is a great time to buy a home in North Texas and here are a few reasons why...
 
1. Less stringent loan approval requirements are encouraging lending.
 
Down payment requirements, as well as credit score requirements, are beginning to loosen, to encourage more people to buy homes. Interest rates are still low. I still continue to hear people say they will have to put 20% down to qualify for a mortgage. This is simply not the case. If you are curious whether you would qualify for a mortgage, there are some great lenders out there who would love to work with you. Concerned about some dings in your credit? There are also professionals out there who only work to get your credit score ready for a mortgage. Working with a Realtor who is patient and able to refer you to professionals in the lending industry is invaluable.
 
2. Don't let multiple offers scare you.
 
We are certainly in a situation where houses are going quickly and multiple offers on homes are being seen a lot as well. This doesn't not mean you won't get a home or that you should pay more for a house than it is worth or that you are comfortable with. Working with a Realtor with experience in this type of market is very important. A good Realtor won't let you see a house you might fall in love with if there are already offers on it. They also will be able to explain to you the comps for the neighborhood you are hoping to buy in and whether the price for the home you have found is within your comfort zone.
 
3. A Realtor can make or break your deal.
 
While Realtors are not miracle workers, they can certainly help you as a buyer. Numbers are numbers and an offer speaks volumes, but as a seller's agent, you are being sold a buyer by a buyer's agent. Finding a Realtor to represent you that shares your same ideals and is easy to work with is incredibly important. Look at reviews on Zillow.com and search for Realtors that come recommended from friends and family. You want a Realtor who is going to help guide you the process but not push you into doing something you do not feel comfortable with. A Realtor's personality and their business tactics can help get you that home you love. If a sellers has two very similar offers from qualified buyers, a Realtor's ability to show their willingness to work through the deal, be proactive, and treat all parties in the deal fairly and with respect could be the deciding factor for that seller.
 
4. Know what you want, but try to be flexible and have an open mind.
 
Go through a process with your Realtor to decide your absolute must-haves, your would-be-nice-to-haves and your absolutely-nots. What is the important thing to you? Schools? Neighborhoods? Space? Rooms? Once you find the most important things on your list, get with your Realtor to start receiving listings via email that will allow you to see the most updated listings that are on the market. Even MLS listings might not exactly depict all of the great things about the property. For example, if you are looking for a 4 bedroom, don't rule out looking at 3 bedrooms with a study. Four bedrooms will generally have a higher list price than a three bedroom, but if you can get a great house with an additional space for less purchase price, would you be willing to consider it? With the number of houses and floorplans out there, you might be able to find a floorplan that works for you that wasn't exactly as the MLS listing described or one that you might not have considered in pictures but is perfect in person.
 
If you have considered buying a home, now is a great time to do it. Spring is a wonderful time to find a new neighborhood - summer offers great opportuntities to get out and meet new neighbors. It also gives your kids a chance to get acclimated to a new home before starting in a new school in the fall. If you are thinking about buying but haven't committed to it quite yet, getting on an email alert for homes will help you see what kind of home you could get for the price you want to pay. An email alert from me is a no pressure way to start the very first step in the home buying process. I would love to hear from you!

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