Get a credit score.
When you are in the market to buy a new or used home, one of your first acts should be to receive your credit score. You’ll need this if you’re planning on qualifying for mortgage loans or any other kind of money lending/credit.
Exercise the advantages of the ‘buyer’s market’.
Thanks to the recent housing market crash that has effected lending, borrowing, and real estate sales in general worldwide, the current market has seen an across the board reduction in housing prices to spur business. Real estate agents are accepting drastically lower prices for properties today that are probably half as much (or less) than the closing prices of yesterday.
Maintain a ‘seller vs buyer’ mentality.
A real estate agent or a seller is not your friend, point-blank. You would do well to use this advantage while shopping for a new home, as a seller who thinks they can get $300K for their property will quickly realize that nobody will be willing to pay more than $100K in today’s market due to depreciation in the housing market.
Stay focused and plan ahead.
There is no worse position to be in as a home buyer as a person who waits till the last minute (days before their old house/apartment lease is up) before looking to get a new property. When a buyer is desperate to find a new home, sellers can almost ‘smell’ the buyer’s lost advantage (as the seller can simply play hardball on a high price and wait for the buyer to run out of time and be forced to accept the higher price).
Take risks (wisely).
It may sound odd, but many first-timers who are buying a home will over-think every aspect of the home-buying process. There are times to be cautious, and there are times to go ahead and dive into securing a new real estate property. Often times first timers will lose out on their dream home from imagining that something is ‘too good to be true’ when it’s actually a legitimate bargain.
Buy in the winter.
A rarely used tactic for home-buying involves waiting until the ‘off-season’, so to speak, to secure the best bargains. Most home-owners buy their homes in the summer time, when demand is at the highest (mostly from transferring children into new school systems). Sellers will not often get buyer interest in the winter, and as a result there is less competition, and more willingness for the seller to accept a lower offer.
Talk to potential neighbors.
There are quick and easy ways of finding out whether a neighborhood is ideal to move into. When shoddy neighborhood housing construction issues, illegal chemical dumps, or social problems are rampant in a community, the neighbors will be only too happy to talk about it to new potential home owners researching the area.
Be wary of foreclosed homes.
Many times a reduced-price foreclosure home might seem like a good deal. But upon inspection there could be thousands of dollars worth of damage to fix (offsetting any price reductions you’d enjoy when buying). Always get an inspection before making an offer on a foreclosure home.