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So you go to every open house and spend some time looking over wonderful property photos online. You may not be able to get that property off of your mind. However, how serious are you about finally putting a down payment on it and actually buying a home?

If you are having some thoughts about whether you are ready to buy a home or merely just window shopping, we can help you figure that out, just see the list below. If any of these describes you, you are probably still in window shopping mode.

1: You love open houses!

Do you stick to open houses and ogle around? Open houses are great. You can look into those beautiful homes with low-commitment, no pressure to make an offer or even move in the direction of one. Finding yourself addicted to these group showings but lacking the desire to have a one-on-one appointment? You know the answer to that, don’t you?

2: You’re all over the neighborhood.

Do you check some houses in a certain neighborhood or look at a bunch of houses in different neighborhoods? Do you say these lines in an open house, “I am just looking around…” or “I have a long list of towns that I am considering to live in…”? If you find yourself saying these lines and going to open houses in different neighborhoods, you are probably still in the window shopping phase.

3: Third time is a charm.

I read this somewhere, “One showing is good; a second showing is great.” How about going back to a home again then again after a few weeks? And again… then again? Hmmm…

Don’t put your finger on the trigger unless you are ready to shoot. This can be applied to real estate too. No written offer means a buyer isn’t serious, yet, in getting a house. Still gun-shy? Maybe you are not committed, yet.

4: You are alone.

You are hunting alone by this I mean, you do not have an agent.

Have you observed other people that go into open houses? How many are there who have an agent working with them? Maybe you want to do it alone and thinking you can buy a home without an agent, that’s fine. However, it might be just a way to wiggle out from the feeling of being obliged to make an offer and have those papers signed.

5: You’ve been looking for a while.

Have you heard about a SMART goal?

Your goal must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. If you have been searching for a home for over a month without a SMART goal then you are probably still in the window shopping phase.

 

How would you know that you are ready to take a plunge and ready to pull the trigger into finally being a homeowner? We’ve got you covered.

1: You yearn one-on-one appointments.

If you want to make it happen, you want to have a private showing and not a group showing. Serious home buyers are aiming to set up one-on-one appointments to really look at a potential home.

2: You tag your friends and/or family along.

Getting a home is a family business because your family will be living in it and they are vital in making a decision on whether you are going to buy the house or not. Showing the property with your significant other, or another family member, or a trusted friend is a good sign that you visualize yourself living in the property and wanting a second opinion from someone important who will be living in there.

3: You’ve got a lot of questions

Just like I have mentioned before, when buying a home you must have a SMART goal. You have specific needs or interest on what you are looking for a house.

Homebuyers typically tend to ask multiple questions like neighborhood attributes, schools, the age of mechanicals, distance to parks and recreation, and kitchen and bath updates. Even lying awake at night just wondering how old the roof is, or how you can convert the den into an office.

Questions are a good thing. You want answers. You want your needs to be met.

4: You know your finances.

If you have a pre-qualified or actively securing a mortgage with a lender and you know where you will get or have money ready for the down payment and other expenses, then it only shows that you are geared up for really buying the house you eyed.

 

Now that you have read this post, so are you ready now to buy a home—or just window shopping?

 

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Dedicated buyers of "fixer-upper" houses must think about various things prior to purchasing one. There are some pitfalls, expenses, and time-consuming activities that come with upgrading a fixer-upper home. Granting that the real estate price of the home could possibly level up, refurbishing a fixer-upper house would require a sum of money to yield the most competitive in the future.

For individuals who choose old houses — and really like to improve them — the impression of having a fixer-upper could very well be motivating. Just imagine: You might be able to get a hold of a rundown place in a remarkable community for a significantly less than the market price, invest some time and finances upgrading it, and afterwards find yourself with a like-new home which may be appraised for at least double what you paid out for it. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Often times, it is. Having said that, buying a fixer-upper might end up being fraught with jeopardy. Because of this, before you decide to take the leap, ensure that you do come with objective knowledge of precisely what you will be stepping into.

Make sure you realize what you might be involving yourself in before putting your signature on those dotted lines.

 

1. Realize that a couple of flaws can be patched up

Fixer-uppers generally speaking fall into two different types: complete wreck and aesthetically displeasing house.

In a fixer-upper house, just about everything about it needs freshening up. It may smell bad inside, the backyard or garden may be unkempt, its painting may be chipping away. An ugly house is not architecturally eye-catching.

But if these are generally the kinds of flaws you’re dealing with, take heart: They’re quite frankly superficial, and they’re an easy task to patch up. Painting is the easiest task that you can do personally. Just don’t cut corners—buy all the right equipment (utilize the tape!) and then paint correctly, with the right number of coats. It’s additional work, but it pays off in the long run. Even though you may seek the services of a painter, it won’t cost as much as redoing the bathroom. You could also refinish the floors yourself, although it usually requires renting a machine.

 

2. Other defects cost a lot of money

You will discover, quite a few problems could at first slide under your radar—but over time come up with a substantial effect on your budget.

Troubles with the foundation, framework, roofing, and perhaps house siding could be expensive to deal with — other major changes could include sewage, septic, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems. Upgrading decks and walkways could also be pricey. In certain cases, environmental problems such as a humid basements or mold could possibly be mitigated, but nonetheless remedies are not all times successful. In a couple of houses, it would likely be extremely difficult to resolve a bad mold problem.

In the event that the you have difficulty breathing when visiting a home,  there’s probably a mold problem and most likely would be better off completely gutting the whole area. On top of that, the property management company may have just been doing nothing to prevent it. 

 

3. Ballpark your restoration costs

Seek the services of a structural engineer to evaluate the house before you decide to buy it —but before you can even get there, do your homework.

There are certainly a whole lot of repair estimators available, so seek advice from friends and family and co-workers just in case they’ve carried out repairs lately and could possibly tell you the amount of their expenses. Doing this, you will be able to quickly and easily measure as to whether the repairs would fall within your budget. Organize a recommendation sheet for restoration expenditures such as roof, foundation, HVAC, and windows. This will assist you to ultimately evaluate a feasible offer price. 

 

4. Ask for a discount—sensibly.

Finally, one of the real advantage of getting a fixer-upper is the considerable savings! These kinds of houses may go for well under 60% to 80% of the initial asking price. It is most especially true in the event that the home is actually sitting on the market for quite a while, or possibly if you manage to offer a payment up front.

In addition, even if you and everyone upon inspection recognize that this house is in shambles, that doesn’t necessarily mean the sellers realize that, or even would like to hear it. To prevent insulting them, start off by expressing you love their home, however you (or your engineer, inspector, or perhaps a friend) have spotted some concerns which may take some time and cash to repair. And then subtract that total from their asking price, and you don’t have to end there.

In the event the renovations will keep you from living (or living comfortably) in your home, it may be conventional to tack on an additional cost for what REALTORS® dub “the hassle factor,” which is usually approximated by the amount of time and money you’d utilize living elsewhere while the renovations take place.

The most important consideration is: the more you break down your expenses, your offer considerably makes more sense to the sellers, who will probably play ball and give you a discount.

 

5. Get the appropriate loan

A house needing major renovations could be eligible for a particular type of financing referred to as a renovation loan. The draw back? There’s a maximum available amount of money that you can borrow. Make sure to check out all your alternatives with your REALTOR® or other eligible experts.

With fixer-uppers, It’s best to know what you are getting yourself into to avoid the panic or anxiety that comes with unexpected change of plans due to unavoidable circumstances, especially expenses.

If it happens that you’re serious about tackling a fixer-upper, it really helps to understand - do your research, and explore every options available to you before engaging and finally buying a fixer-upper house.

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