This is a quick read article on the top tips for buying, collected from buyers themselves over the many years. All issues are covered in detail in my buying guide and other articles but it is worth taking note of. After all if this is what other buyers are saying……. Experience is often gained the hard way.
Tip #1: Research Is The Key To Discovery
Home sellers won't call you with an offer to buy a maintenance-free home with a below market price. You have to find the gems yourself! Use your appointed buying agent to pull in al their resources to find the best buys out there. Browse the property sales adverts to get an idea of what is available – let your agent know which appeal to you so that further information can be obtained. Avoid the nightmares by learning how best to buy and maintain a home.
Tip #2: Make A Plan And Get Pre-Qualified
Every important decision needs to be clearly thought out. Developing a home buying plan can help you focus on the important factors and organize the entire process. You may even want to use a binder with sections on house hunting, home financing, service providers, etc. Loan pre-qualifying helps you determine the home price you can afford and presents you as a genuine prospect to the seller. Planning your actions and getting pre-qualified will keep you out of the panic mode and allow you to take advantage of opportunities. A thorough plan will save both time and money!
Tip #3: Value, Value, Value
The days of massive annual appreciation have passed for a while. Homebuyers in the 1970's onwards, particularly in the Port Elizabeth region,  benefited tremendously from what seemed like ever appreciating home prices. Nowadays, you're looking at slower growth and of course who will forget the effects of the recession we are emerging from. The classic rule of buying the worst house in the best neighbourhood still applies. If you buy with an eye towards improvement, you can customize the home to fit your needs. The saying, "make money buying a home, not selling one," should keep you focused on the long-term importance of the purchasing price.
Tip #4: Create A Top 10 List Of Amenities
When shopping for a home, list the features (fireplace, fenced-in yard, new appliances, etc.) that are most important to you in deciding on which home to buy. Establishing "your criteria" early on will save time shopping for inappropriate homes and may keep you from buying a home on a whim. As detailed in Tip #3, your top reason for buying a home should be the value you are getting. Some of your top 10 amenities should logically be sacrificed if an incredible value is available. Use the checklist provided in my buying guide to do this.
Tip #5: Sign A Contract That Protects You
Make sure that the contract you put on a house allows you to arrange financing, inspect the home and negotiate any problems that you uncover. Ensuring that the contract you sign will minimize potential legal battles will let you swim in your new pool with your family and neighbours instead of with the sharks.
Tip #6: Put Yourself In The Seller's Shoes
You are about to make one of the most important decisions that will affect both your life and the life of the seller. If you take time to understand the reasons the seller bought the home, their reasons for selling, and the home improvements they have or have not made, you'll be in a better position to evaluate the home and make a decision. Ask your agent if they have any inside information regarding the seller.
Tip #7: Compare Finance options
One of the biggest decisions to make before putting a contract on a home is how to finance the purchase. There are many lenders competing for your mortgage business and the days of simply walking into your bank and negotiating with the loan department manager are over. Create a chart that lists the different types of loans and fees options available.
Today of course, you can apply for a loan over the Internet or even use a Bond Originator to shop for your loan with hundreds of lenders. See more detail under the finance section.
Tip #8: Inspect the home properly
Take a proper look round. Use the checklist I have made available in the buyers guide and scrutinise the home you intend buying, with a critical eye. Many of the faults you see will be minor and quite acceptable but by having a good hard look, you can avoid major problems later.
Although it is hard to believe, most people are quite prepared to pay for inspections before buying used cars but hesitate when making the biggest investment of their lives - their homes. Paying for a qualified home inspection before you buy a home isn't just spending "a little extra" for peace of mind; it's becoming recognised acceptable practice for anyone who doesn't want to spend thousands of rand for repairs.
See my buying guide section on inspection for suitable inspection companies
Tip#9: Reduce your number of professionals
You have just found the house you want to buy, and are feeling completely thrilled and confused at the same time. You trust the agent who helped you and feel that the advice you received is solid. But you also want to get opinions about the house from your best friend, your parents, your hairdresser and your Uncle Bob, who used to be in real estate once.
If you get input from too many sources, you could find yourself even more confused than you already are. Your best friend can provide moral support, but might not know the market in your area. Your parents may go into shock because they feel that they got so much more house for their money 30 years ago--and it cost them a fraction of the price you are going to pay.
Even though Uncle Bob passed the real estate exam back then, his insights won't be as relevant as those of a professional who is currently working the market. It's not that you shouldn't consult your family and friends--just don't go overboard. Rely on the advice of professionals you trust--a structural inspector, loan officer, and a good real estate agent, so that you can feel comfortable about having made an informed decision.

Tip#10: Use a Property Network Agent
Our opinion only of course Deirdre Remax Smiley But if you are looking for an agent that is fully committed to integrity, professionalism and service, then we are your choice. Read a little bit more about what makes our agents different.

For more detailed information on Finance issues go here
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