What You Should Look for When House Hunting

If you’re shopping for a home and can afford to buy one, you couldn’t be in a better position right now. In many parts of the country, housing inventory is high and both home prices and interest rates are low and as a buyer, you can take advantage of that.

With so many properties on the market, you can probably take a more leisurely approach to house hunting without getting into a fast-paced bidding war. There is a caveat, however. The best homes priced properly for the market conditions will always be in higher demand.

As you begin your search for the right home for you, it pays to keep in mind things you need to check carefully so that they don’t cost you big bucks in the long run.


Written By: Diana Lundin. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

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Inspecting Your Home Inspector

While most people (almost 80 percent) have their homes inspected prior to purchase, just who is it that is inspecting the inspector? We’ve all seen those hidden-camera stories of home inspectors missing major defects, glossing over major problems or finding problems that they then offer to fix (for a charge, of course).

Since the industry isn’t closely regulated, it is important to make sure your home inspector is well trained and insured, especially since you are relying on the home inspector’s professional assessment to help decide on the biggest investment of your life. To help make sure your professional home inspector is just that— “professional”— the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI), a leading home inspection training organization, offers the following tips to help “inspect your inspector:”


Written By: Realtor. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

In love with two houses ?

What to consider when making the final decision

As you find yourself heavily immersed in house-hunting mode, you may encounter a situation in which you’re torn between two houses. Perhaps you and your spouse each have a favorite, or perhaps you both like two houses equally – or think you do.
Making a final decision and determining which house to make an offer on shouldn’t be taken lightly. The decision should be made rationally and not guided by emotion.

Of course, you may not have the luxury of taking your time on deciding which house you’d like to pursue. You may be in a market in which homes in your price range get snatched up as quickly as they go on the market, perhaps even attracting multiple offers.


Written By: Michele Dawson. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

FAQ: Am I Eligible for the Tax Credit?

1. Who is eligible to claim the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers?

First-time home buyers who have not owned a home in the past three years and who purchase any kind of home—new or resale—are eligible for the tax credit for 10 percent of the purchase price, up to a maximum of $8,000. To qualify for the current tax credit, a home purchase must occur on or after November 6, 2009 and they must have a binding sales contract in force on or before April 30, 2010. Purchasers have until June 30, 2010 to close.

The full credit is available for married couples filing a joint return whose modified adjusted gross income is $225,000 or less and for other taxpayers who’s MAGI is $125,000 or less. The credit phases out for buyers earning more than those income limits.
Persons claimed as dependents by other taxpayers or who are under age 18 do not qualify for the tax credit program.


Written By:Realtor. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

Can You Afford to Buy a House?

Although the thought of paying a mortgage is more enticing than paying rent, it’s important to understand all the costs involved in buying and owning a home as you determine whether you can afford to join the ranks of homeowners.

Potential buyers sometimes forget to factor in the down payment, homeowners insurance and the possibility of depreciation, as well as the costs associated with closing the transaction, moving, purchasing major appliances, and home, landscape and pool maintenance, not to mention furnishings and design accessories once you move in.

The days of calling up the landlord to fix your problems come to an abrupt halt when you’re a homeowner. You’ll be responsible for everything from malfunctioning appliances to leaky faucets to broken heating and air conditioning units and everything in between. And if you buy an older home, you’ll probably eventually encounter costly repairs, such as replacing the roof or windows.


Written By: Michele Dawson. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

How to Negotiate the Best Deal

Buyers are finally being able to take advantage of cooling trends in previously hot markets. Multiple offers are no longer being thrown at sellers as soon as the For Sale sign hits the front yard.

Competition has dwindled in many areas as investors disappear and buyers take to the sidelines. Unless a buyer thinks his local market is headed for a big downturn, this could be the pause that allows him to get into the market with a few perks unheard of in recent years as a bonus.


Written By: Rick Hazeltine. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

Affordability Options For First-Time Buyers

First-time home buyers who want affordable homes may want to take a hard look at fixer-uppers, smaller homes and cheaper commutes to work to save on the costs of buying and owning a home.
Real estate brokers say many home buyers expect more than they can afford in a home and once they start pounding the pavement for housing their disconnect could be discouraging.
In an online survey of 150 of its brokers, Coldwell Banker discovered some disturbing trends among first-time home buyers.

While nearly half of the Coldwell Banker brokers surveyed said affordability was the No. 1 concern for first time buyers, 81 percent of those buyers also consider move-in conditions to be very important when searching for homes. Only 7 percent are considering fixer-upper homes.


Written By: Broderick Perkins. If you would like to continue reading, click here.