Diversify Your Approach Early – Buyers either choose to build a home or choose to buy previously owned. And for whatever reason, it’s one or the other most times. Then, after looking at dozens of homes or visiting a handful of builders, they fall back to the other option, and in many instances, this happens out of frustration. Why is there a need for this fallback scenario? Exhaust your options from the onset. Look into building AND visit existing inventory. There’s pros and cons to both options, but at least you’ll know what’s right for you in the beginning vs. feeling like you’re settling for plan B later.
Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) – Your Realtor® will know this phrase quite well. You’re spending the most money you’ve probably ever spent. This deserves real attention, especially to the condition the home is in when you acquire it. Foreclosures and short sales have nice price tags, but do you know exactly what kind of condition the home is in? Like really though? Often times, distressed homes come in as-is condition, so if you are a first-time investor or even plan on occupying a distressed home, exercise your due diligence and get any and all inspections necessary. People like surprises, except in home buying. Don’t be that buyer. Beware.
Special Note: Home flipping can be done well or very poorly. While it might look nice and shiny in rehabbed condition, try to find out what kind of shape it was in pre-rehab. Some could have ‘dirty’ secrets and it will be your job as a buyer to uncover them if there are no disclosures.
Level Shift Yourself – Buyers invariably become consumed with the numbers and “getting a good deal” and that’s a great goal. But before you lowball that next seller and get rejected, then frustrated, then angry with your Realtor®, it’s important to go back to the beginning on why the move was necessary to begin with. Was it to be in a better school district, closer to work, getting married or some other motivating factor? Thinking about these things along the way has a relaxing effect. The goals then shift to getting the deal done at a fair price and being happy.