Bay State Home Sales Team's Blog
After you complete a condo inspection, you'll need to make a major decision: Should you move forward with your condo purchase or rescind your offer?
Ultimately, there are several important questions to assess before you finalize your decision on a condo, including:
1. What was discovered during the property inspection?
Study the results of a condo inspection closely. By doing so, you'll be able to learn about a condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.
A property inspector will evaluate a condo both inside and out. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased feedback, enabling you to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a condo.
Take into account major and minor condo problems that a property inspector discovers. And if this inspector finds minor flaws associated with a condo, you may want to stay the course and move forward with your initial proposal.
On the other hand, if a property inspector finds significant problems with a condo, i.e. issues that may prove to be costly and time-consuming, you may want to consider rescinding your offer. Or, in this case, you can always ask the condo owner to complete property repairs before you finalize a condo purchase.
2. How much will it cost to perform assorted condo repairs?
The costs associated with condo repairs will vary. However, if you allocate the time and resources to learn about condo problems and the costs associated to fix these issues, you may be able to avoid expensive, time-intensive mistakes.
For example, consider what might happen if a property inspector discovers a defective kitchen light switch in a condo. Although this light switch is a problem, the time and costs needed to repair or replace the faulty light switch likely are minimal. As such, a condo buyer may choose to ignore this problem, or a condo owner may be willing to complete the fix quickly.
Conversely, consider what could happen if a property inspector finds that a condo's furnace is defective. It may cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace a faulty furnace. As a result, a condo buyer may ask the property seller to repair or replace the defective furnace. And if the condo owner fails to do so, a buyer may choose to walk away from the condo purchase altogether.
3. Can I enjoy this condo both now and in the future?
It is essential to consider both the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase. That way, a condo buyer can determine whether a property can serve him or her well for years to come.
A property inspection offers valuable information that a buyer can use to assess the pros and cons of purchasing a condo. Furthermore, a condo buyer who works with an experienced real estate agent can get the support needed to make the best decision possible.
Consider the aforementioned questions as you evaluate your options following a condo inspection, and you should have no trouble deciding whether a particular condo is right for you.
Purchasing a condo should be fast and easy. However, negotiations with a condo seller can quickly become stressful and may put your chances to acquire your dream condo in danger.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the process of negotiating with a condo seller to ensure you can purchase your ideal property.
Here are three tips to help you navigate tough negotiations with a condo seller.
1. Consider the Condo Seller's Perspective
Think about the condo seller's perspective and try to find common ground with this individual. By doing so, you and the condo seller may be able to agree to terms that meet the needs of both sides.
When you initially submit an offer on a condo, ensure your proposal accounts for the condo's condition and the current state of the real estate market. That way, you'll be able to avoid the risk of submitting a "lowball" offer that falls below a condo seller's expectations.
Also, maintain open lines of communication throughout the negotiation process. This will allow you to listen to a condo seller's concerns and respond accordingly.
2. Collect Plenty of Housing Market Data
If a condo seller believes you are unwilling to pay a sufficient price for his or her condo, it is always a good idea to present housing market data to back up your offer.
Explore the housing market closely to learn about the prices of comparable condos in nearby cities and towns. This will allow you to see how a particular condo stacks up against similar properties in terms of price and condition.
In addition, check out the prices of recently sold condos in your area to identify housing market patterns and trends. With this real estate market information at your disposal, you'll be able to make an informed decision about whether to continue to negotiate with a condo seller or consider other properties.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent will negotiate with a condo seller on your behalf. Therefore, he or she will help you minimize the stress and anxiety that is commonly associated with condo negotiations.
Typically, a real estate agent will submit an offer on a condo and wait to hear back from a condo seller. If a condo seller decides to negotiate, a real estate agent will work with you throughout the negotiation process.
A real estate agent will listen to your condo buying concerns and questions and respond immediately. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make informed decisions during negotiations with a condo seller. This real estate professional will even share your concerns with a condo seller to help you get the best results possible.
When it comes to a negotiating with a condo seller, there is no need to worry. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of condo negotiations. And ultimately, you may be able to move one step closer to buying a condo that meets or exceeds your expectations.
Are you an experienced homebuyer? If so, you may be better equipped than others to enjoy a quick, worry-free homebuying experience.
Ultimately, a veteran homebuyer can learn a lot from his or her past experiences, including:
1. How to Avoid Paying Too Much for a House
The housing market offers many opportunities for veteran and first-time homebuyers alike. However, a first-time homebuyer may struggle to pounce at an opportunity to acquire a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price. On the other hand, an experienced homebuyer likely knows what it takes to acquire a house at a price that matches or surpasses his or her expectations.
As an experienced homebuyer, it generally helps to think about how you narrowed your price range when you most recently searched for a home. This experience may guide you as you look to establish a price range for an upcoming house search.
Furthermore, a veteran homebuyer may know exactly what types of housing market data to examine before entering the real estate market. By evaluating the prices of recently sold houses and available residences in cities and towns where you'd like to live, you can use assorted real estate market data to accelerate your home search.
2. How to Get Home Financing
If you struggled to get a mortgage for your first home, there is no need to deal with home financing problems once again. Instead, a veteran homebuyer can allocate the necessary time and resources to get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.
To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, it usually is a good idea to meet with various banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can educate you about myriad mortgage options and help you select the ideal mortgage based on your homebuying needs.
3. How to Differentiate a Buyer's Market from a Seller's Market
Regardless of whether you previously bought a house in a buyer's or seller's market, you can use your past homebuying experience to help you assess the current state of the housing sector. Then, you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
If you notice houses are selling quickly at prices above their initial asking figures, you may be preparing to enter a seller's market. In this scenario, you may need to act quickly to acquire a great house.
Comparatively, if you find that homes are lingering on the housing market for many weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In a buyer's market, you may be able to purchase a stellar house at a discounted price due to the sheer volume of houses that are available.
Before you launch a home search, it is important to note that even a veteran homebuyer may need help at times. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support throughout the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional will make it easy for you to discover a superb house in no time at all.
Buying your first home is a big decision; one that involves a lengthy process of saving money, building credit, and planning the next phase of your life. However, owning a home comes with one major payoff: home equity.
Simply put, home equity is the amount of your home that you’ve paid off. However, it does get more complicated when we bring in factors like the market value of your home and how it shifts over the years.
In this article, we’ll discuss home equity and what it means for you as a homeowner. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect when you finally make that last payment on your home or when you decide to sell.
Home equity and market value
As I mentioned earlier, home equity is more than just the amount you’ve paid toward your mortgage. Like most markets, the housing market shifts over time.
Most homes slowly increase in value over time. In the real estate world, this increase in value is called appreciation.
However, that doesn’t mean that your home is simply going to increase in value indefinitely until you decide to sell. As you will find out (if you haven’t yet already), owning a home can be expensive. Houses age and require upgrades. If you fail to keep up with the maintenance of your home, its value can diminish.
How to build equity
The most important thing you can do to build equity is to make on-time payments to your mortgage. Making extra mortgage payments will help you build equity even faster.
One method of paying extra on your mortgage that many people are adopting is to make bi-weekly payments. Twenty-six bi-weekly payments comes out to 13 full payments per year, the equivalent of making one full extra monthly payment.
The second method of building equity is something that you have less control over: appreciation. However, if you stick to a maintenance schedule for your home and keep it in good repair, you’ll most likely benefit from appreciation over the lifespan of your mortgage.
What can I use home equity for?
The most common way to use home equity is as a down payment or full payment on your next home. First-time buyers who don’t have a 20% down payment saved often buy a starter home and then later upgrade as their family grows and their needs change. In the years that they own their first home, they build enough equity to make a full down payment on their second home, avoiding fees like mortgage insurance.
Many homeowners planning on retiring in the near future use their equity toward their retirement home, often turning a profit in the process. If you plan on downgrading for retirement and have fully paid off your mortgage, you can often use your equity to pay for your next home in cash.
Purchasing a foreclosure property is a great opportunity to own a home at an extremely affordable price. While many people successfully buy foreclosed homes and are happy with their decision, before making this large financial commitment, it’s a good idea to understand what you might be walking into—before you buy.
Homeowner Left Home in Disrepair
In many foreclosure situations, a home is left in poor condition. If the homeowner couldn’t keep up on their mortgage payments, there is a high probability they’ve neglected general upkeep and maintenance too. Common problems associated with foreclosed properties include:
If a home needs significant repairs, even if they're well-priced, it still might be a poor investment.
Vandalism has Occurred
When a home is left empty for a prolonged period of time, unfortunately, vandals or squatters sometimes identify these homes and enter them illegally. Problems to consider include:
Added up, these types of events might negate any savings you'd get on a foreclosed price.
Expensive to Make the Home Habitable
Even if no disrepair or vandalism is present and the home looks to be a good investment, it’s a smart financial strategy to tally up the general costs of any repairs and cleaning needed to see if these expenses outweigh any savings.
For instance, if a prolonged leaky roof created a serious mold situation or structural problems, you could be talking about thousands of dollars for the cleanup and repair alone. Any major repairs necessary to get the home up to living conditions may not be worth the investment, especially when you add in other minor repairs or desired cosmetic work.
Difficulties with Lenders
In foreclosed homes, lenders sometimes won’t want to give a mortgage to borrowers looking to purchase what they deem as a risky property. They’ll look at appraisals and, if it falls below the purchase price, they may deny you a mortgage. You also might encounter problems with the bank (or lender) currently in possession of the house.
Always do your homework. Understanding the pitfalls associated with buying a foreclosed home will help you to make an educated decision. Hire a qualified inspector to carefully comb through the home and talk to neighbors about the house’s history. Once you gather solid information, you can better determine if purchasing a foreclosure is a smart investment.