Category Archives: First Time Home Buyers

Five Tips For Buying a Home

There is probably no better way to become aware of the condition of a home than to have your home inspected by a licensed inspector. However, there are several considerations on which only you, as the purchaser, can decide. And, as I’ve said in other articles, it’s my belief there are some things you must do yourself: Manage your money.  Raise your children.  And, also… purchase your home!

1.    Location, location, location…

Probably the most important factor is that your new neighborhood is a good fit.  Take some time to drive around the area and make sure you like it. Check out the traffic at rush hour – if the home you like is on a main street, make sure the traffic noise won’t be a problem for you.

Additional location considerations might include: Where are the closest schools?  Having schools nearby can be great if you have young children yourself.  It can be rather annoying with noise or traffic, if you don’t!  Does the lot back to a wash? If you have cats or a small dog, they might be at risk to urban coyotes and other wildlife. Is there an alley? Alleys have both positive and negative features. They provide a buffer between you and the back neighbor, but they also give opportunities for clandestine behavior since they are relatively private.

You might want to check the crime statistics for the area, something you can find by googling “neighborhood crime data” along with the community of your choice.  You may also go to the county sex offender registry and make sure you are comfortable with your neighbors. In the Phoenix area, this information is on the Sheriff’s web site at

Check into nearby vacant lots. You never know when the lot your kids play on will be developed into something you might not want to have as a neighbor. You can find out who owns lots through the tax assessor web site; for Maricopa County it is

You can find your assessor using Google or your favorite search engine. Usually there is a way to search by map, and you might enter the address of the property you are interested in purchasing, then use the map to see what zoning and who the owners are of vacant lots. Generally your Realtor will do these things for you, if you ask.

You can even ask your Realtor to speak with your potential new neighbors.  Find out if there is any unreported crime; ask if there is a rock band that practices all afternoon. Find out if there is a problem neighbor at whose address the police have a reserved parking spot. Ask the immediate neighbors if they plan any major remodeling or additions. This could lead to a year of construction vehicles and noise from sunrise to sunset. A few minutes of due diligence can prevent an unhappy ownership situation.

Make sure the lot has good features; i.e. not located in a flood area, and not the lowest lot in the area (sure to be 3 inches deep in water every time it rains). Generally this is not a big issue because most municipalities will not give a building permit for such areas.
2.    What do I really need…?

The home you pick should meet whatever needs you or your family have. Think about the future. Having kids? Already have kids? Kids leaving? Getting married? How big a home do you need, how many bedrooms and bathrooms? For later resale, the most popular single family home is a 3 bedroom 2 bath home. Homes with only 1 bathroom or only 2 bedrooms are more difficult to sell than the more standard 3/2.

Take the family and spend a little time in the home. Spend a couple hours, especially during the morning or afternoon rush hour. Make sure the noise and activity levels are acceptable, and make sure the home has all the conveniences you like.

When I purchased my latest home, I replaced all the built-in appliances; they were more than 10 years old. I also like a gas stove, and our property has no gas, so I had a gas stove installed with a small propane tank outside. A 3 gallon tank lasts a year. This total expense was around $5,000 including having the line and tank professionally installed for the propane. The convenience of new appliances and a gas stove makes a huge difference in the utility and resale value of the home, at a modest cost.

Is a pool important? Somewhere to relax on those hot summer weekends? Be sure to inspect the pool closely, using a professional inspector. Pool maintenance can be quite expensive and time consuming. I personally do not have a pool service, instead I have an automatic chlorinator and an automatic pool sweeper. These items are a significant up front expense, but can yield years of virtually maintenance free pool enjoyment. Insist that all pool equipment be in excellent working condition.

3.    Last year’s remodel… this year’s nightmare?

Many older homes may have been converted from a one bath to a two-bath home. You can usually tell.  Make a careful inspection and see if this was done.

Sometimes a master bath has been divided and made into two bathrooms. If the remodel was done well and permitted (a permit was obtained from the municipality), this is a better situation than a poorly done, unpermitted change. You can often find permit information at the city planning office.

Sometimes additional square footage has been added to a home, either by converting the garage into a bedroom or office, or by enclosing the patio. Telltale signs of this might be: No garage, or a garage door that is still there but has no purpose; a slanting floor (garage floors and patios often slant to provide drainage); unusually low ceilings in one room; no air conditioning vents in the room; an outdoor carriage light on the wall of the room; a room with one cinderblock wall and 3 wood frame walls.

Some homes built with a carport have had the carport enclosed. This is an inexpensive and useful remodel, provided it was done correctly and with the proper permits. Things to check for: A window from the house into the garage; garage door is not self closing and/or is not  a solid core door; one garage wall is block, the other walls frame; no power outlets on the garage walls except on the back wall.

Look at the flooring in the home. Flooring is an upgrade many homeowners attempt on their own, but without sufficient skills. Often before selling, owners will rip out old carpeting and install laminate wood flooring. Look for the seams in the laminate; one of the more difficult things for the unskilled installer is to plan the job appropriately so that the seams in the flooring come out right, with no gaps. Further, many installations run right up to the baseboard – sometimes there are two baseboards, the old original and then the new baseboard to cover the gaps from the flooring!

The proper installation is generally to remove the old baseboards so that the flooring is seamless from wall to wall and only a single baseboard is installed. New baseboards should be installed – this minor step costs little and makes a big difference. You can often see a discoloration at the bottom of the old baseboard where the carpet used to be. And, most do-it-yourselfers are not good at mitering the corners and fitting the baseboards perfectly. Just look at the joints and the corners – you will be able to tell, easily, whether the installation was done well.

Tile is another homeowner do-it-yourself favorite, and again, without the proper skills, the job can look terrible close up. Uneven levels in the tiles, grout lines that are not straight, and poorly done corners are just a few examples. Just look at the work, you will be able to tell whether it was done professionally or not.

Finally, look for additions. This is often evidenced by one part of the home leaning away from another part – look at where outside walls meet. Look at joints in the outside walls and see if they are pulling away from each other. Look at the flooring in the home at the same point; if there is carpeting, it is harder to tell, but sometimes the addition will have a different slope from the main part of the house.

For information about remodel work, trust your home inspector. This sort of thing is often more cosmetic, but might make a big difference upon resale.

4.    Who built the ark?  OR….

How is the home constructed? Some older homes are slump block (in the Phoenix area), and this is a wonderful thing, as the utility bills will be substantially less than for a frame house. These homes stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

While my personal favorite construction is slump block, a close second would be block homes. With these homes, you may find the cable TV companies complain when they have to drill through the block to add an outlet! Block or brick, or some form of masonry, can provide a strong, stable framework that has inherently good insulating qualities.

For some time, homes were literally built by framing the home, wrapping it with insulation and chicken wire, and then using a gunite machine to spray stucco on the outside. I know I am not characterizing this very well, but it is probably the bargain basement construction method. Unless this process is completed carefully, the stucco can develop cracks. Newer homes are built with framing, then engineered wood (plywood or particle board), then insulation and stucco. This is much more stable than chicken wire over framing!

Any of these construction methods, done properly, are acceptable. My opinion is that the risk of problems is lower with masonry of some sort, although most homes in the Phoenix are frame/wood construction.

When I bought my most recent home, I did not check any of the electrical outlets. The inspector verified that they worked, but the brand used by the contractor must have been the very cheapest, because none of them will hold onto a plug – the spring action is so weak that the plug literally falls out of the outlets. I spent a day changing almost every outlet in the house.

Similarly, look at the valves under the sink and toilet. Make sure the lines are copper and not galvanized. Galvanized pipe, installed in the 70’s, will almost surely be rusty and possibly leaking now, 35-40 years later. Insist on a repipe to copper at the seller’s expense. Have your inspector make sure the plumbing is copper.

I like to make sure the inspector checks the shut off valves under the sinks and toilets, because in older homes, they are often frozen and impossible to use. If there is any evidence of leaking, have the seller replace them with new, preferably 90 degree cut off valves, which are less prone to freezing. When you have to have your sink or toilet worked on, you won’t have to shut off water to the entire house for half a day.

5.    Rules, rules and more rules…

Your Realtor should make sure you get a copy of any Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions commonly known as CC&Rs  These are rules associated with a property which are part of the deed and run with the land.  You should also request a copy of the HomeOwner’s Association  or HOA rules which govern your property. Some HOAs restrict the color and type of plants you have in pots on your patio. Some only care that your driveway be free of grease stains. Regardless, make sure you understand every rule. Is renting allowed? Are pets allowed? Can you park on the street in front of your home? Can you keep a boat in the back yard? Are evaporative coolers permitted?  All these things and more can be regulated by the HOA or by the CC&Rs.

HOA information is provided either by the homeowner (in smaller communities) or by the association (in larger communities). CCR information is recorded, at the public recorder’s office, and should be made available to you either by your Realtor or by the title/escrow company.

Either way, your Realtor should make sure you understand exactly what they say, what your obligations are for living in the property. These are just 5 quick tips of many, many more things that might be important to you when you buy a home. Other things to think about (this list is by no means complete):

–    Cost of homeowner’s insurance

–    Taxes

–    Utility costs

–    Garbage pickup / bulk pickup

–    Neighborhood watch

–    Internet service

–    Cable TV

–    Street condition, paving

–    Security system

–    Paint condition

–    Driveway condition

–    Roof condition

–    Age of air conditioners

–    Septic or sewer?

–    Age of faucets and other fixtures and their condition

–    Type of electrical wiring (aluminum, copper?), electrical panel, breakers

–    Condition of shower enclosure and tub area (mold?)

–    Insurance claims history

–    Street utility manhole in front of house?

–    Distance to fire hydrant?

–    Water pressure?

–    Condition of watering system for grass, shrubs?

Finding the perfect home for you and your family should be an enjoyable experience.  I hope these guidelines will help you in your search and home buying experience!

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Home Buying Tips – Making the Offer

By now, everyone knows the real estate market is down. However, this is a perfect time for buyers to make their purchase. Interest rates, and home prices are at their lowest level in years. Therefore, any aspiring home buyer can make their dreams come true as they’re able to buy a quality home, at an affordable price before the market starts its move back up.

Every time you buy a house, there are several things that should be done. One of which is very important, and that is to familiarize yourself in making the offer. This is something your REALTOR® should cover with you.

When you buy a home, you’re expressing your intention to buy through what is called an offer to purchase. Each offer is unique but it should contain attractive statements that could make the home seller want to say yes. With so many home sellers in the market your offer should be within your means, and with conditions favorable to the buyer.

To help you out, here are some tips in making an offer:

– The most important element of making an offer is setting the right price. Work with your real estate agent to create an offer that fits easily within your budget, but not to the extent of making it a lowball offer.

– When in doubt, seek the help of your real estate agent since they have more experience in making purchase offers. An experienced REALTOR® will have the technical know how in making one. At this point, if you do not have a real estate agent working for you, it’s time to get one.

One must be sure to obtain both a knowledgeable and skillful real estate agent. Hiring the right person will not only help you make the right offer but also get you the right guidance throughout the complete buying process.

– Mention contingencies. There are times when you might want to back out on the purchase. An example would be your mortgage lender denying you the loan. Therefore, it is important that you mention what you want to happen with your down payment, and the possibility of your withdrawal to legalize any issues.

You should also include inspection contingencies. Although the seller is bound to disclose any known problems of the house, there is still a need for you to have the house inspected. Not all defects may be declared. And take note, some defects can be very costly. Therefore, if the repairs are too much for you or the seller to bear, having the contingency will release you from the contract.

– Research the property. There are things that you should consider before making your offer. Start off with the number of days on the market which your real estate agent can provide. The longer the property has been for sale, the more likely the sellers are in wanting to sell. This will help give you more negotiating power, and puts you in a better position. It’s also not a bad idea to have your REALTOR® research the liens on the property; particularly the amount owed to the lender.

– If the home seller declines the offer, don’t worry. You can always submit a counteroffer. If there is no meeting of the minds, prepare to walk away. There are many other homes on the market that are waiting to be sold.

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Buying a Home – Home Warranty Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know

As you near the end of your home buying transaction, one of the last priorities is the option of selecting a home warranty. These type of warranties are set up to fix and substitute covered broken or worn items with new ones. If you think your next property could be headed for some maintenance issues, make sure you apply for one prior to the closing of escrow.

Your home warranty will spell out which mechanical systems and built-in appliances will be covered. Most policies are written to repair and replace items such as plumbing, heater, and electrical components. If you’re willing to invest more money, you can purchase additional coverage for items such as the air conditioner, whirlpool jacuzzi, pool, and roof. If a situation occurs where you have a breakdown with any of these items you can pick up the phone and contact your warranty company to determine what the problem is. If the warranty company agrees with you that the repair is part of your benefits you’ll need to contribute a predetermined amount of money to cover parts and labor which can cost you between 60 to 100 dollars.

If you decide to check into the customer complaint history of most home warranty companies, you’ll be disappointed to learn most companies have piles of complaints filed against them. Many homeowners are angry when they uncover the hidden pre-existing condition clause which prevents coverage on pre-existing issues. If you were checking out the warranty policy that has this pre-existing condition clause make sure you understand your policy will not cover you for any new problems.

You’ll also find most home warranty policies have extra exclusions which include repairs as a result from poor maintenance or servicing, faulty installations, and areas the inspector could not access. Some policies even refuse to cover the repair until you invest additional funds to upgrade the system to modern day building codes. Make sure you understand that most warranty policies won’t cover repairs if they’re not caused by everyday wear and tear.

If you shop around, you’ll discover most warranty policies are priced somewhere between $300 to $1000 per year depending on the home size and type of benefits you choose. As you search for your new home, you’ll find most sellers willing to include the first year of coverage as a gift for buying their home. Even your agent may even be willing to pay for the first year so that you’ll be satisfied with their service.

But if you have to cover the full cost of the home warranty policy, you’re probably smarter if you invest money each month towards an annual repair fund to cover unplanned repair problems. You should aim for a goal of $5000 each year to cover future repairs.

However not all warranty policy holders are unhappy with their policies. If you look hard enough, you can find a caring and helpful technician who gets the warranty business to cover the repair. Make sure you thoroughly checked out each warranty policy and understand all exclusions.

If you live in a state that contains a government agency which supervises home warranty companies, inspect the prospective company’s complaint history before you sign up with them.

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Home Buying Tips – The Secrets on Negotiating Like a Pro

As soon as you found the house that you have spotted the house that you want, you wish to make an offer as soon as possible. Talking to the seller and negotiating for the price that you want can really be a challenging thing to do. Usually, the first amount that you have is not what you would want to pay for that house. As much as possible, you want to lower it down to how much you can actually afford.

The seller would normally have the opposite objective that you have which is to have a higher asking price. He wants to fully maximize the market value for his property. Thus, the best thing you can do is to give him an offer the both of you can agree.

If you are caught in this scenario, you might have only few ideas or even do not know anything at all, on how to negotiate with the seller like the pros do. So, the best thing you can do is to read the remaining paragraphs below for some helpful tips.

Initially, doing a research can help you with this endeavour. You need to have an overview on the kind of community that it have? The type of neighbouring houses on such place and other factors which can affect the market value of the property you are eyeing for. In this way, you can have enough comparison with others and can be able to demand for a reasonable price.

Get to know the reason behind why the seller is disposing the house. Sometimes when a seller would leave the house due to promotion or anything that will involve his career, this would mean he needs to sell the house urgent. Thus, he can grab any price that he has, especially if there is nobody interested with his house.

When you are talking to the seller, do not show him that you are too naive about the negotiation that is going on. Sometimes ignorance can be the cause why sellers take advantage those first time home buyers. They know that these people do not have any idea at all about negotiating for the price and thus they take advantage of it. Make sure that you know every bit if the discussion so he would also be fair and right in stating his selling price.

Do not hesitate in asking questions to the seller. This will help you learn more about the property and dig deeper to the relevant details which can affect to the market value of the house. Sometimes, sellers are too wise and they do not divulge those concerns which are relevant to the price. They would keep anything and everything to the buyer for the very reason that they do not want the buyers to be discouraged about the flaws of the house.

Lastly, do not show to the seller that you are very interested and eager to own his house. He might take advantage of this and thus he knows that whatever it takes, you would definitely buy the house. Be composed and control your urge. Do not be impatient when closing a deal. Besides if the house is really for you, it will surely end up in your hands no matter what.

Buying a house can be a challenging endeavour to partake. If you are too naive about it, you will definitely have a hard time closing the deal. Thus, before you engage into any transaction, make sure that you do a research and educate yourself about it.

Take a look at these sites Scottsdale AZ View Properties for Sale [] and Scottsdale AZ Houses [] for more homes for sale suggestions.

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Perks Of Being a First Time Home Buyer

Purchasing a home first time home-buyer can be an overwhelming experience. You need to take various things into thought, from finding the right agent to finding the appropriate home to financing. However, being a first time home-buyer does come with some substantial benefits.

As a first time home-buyer you often have access to outstanding loan programs that can work with you in getting into a home more rapidly and with less money than those who have purchased homes before. These loan programs offer you assistance such as low down payments, subsidized interest, and a limit to the fees that a lender may bill you.


  • Lenders usually expect home-buyers to pay a down payment of up to 20%. This can be a huge amount for those who are trying to obtain their first home. But, first time home-buyer programs often offer a smaller down payment of anywhere from nothing at all to 3%. That 17% difference on a $200,000 home converts into $34,000 less that you will have to pay as a down payment! If you have to put down 3% instead of 20% you will probably find that buying your first home is a much more obtainable goal.
  • Another advantage you will receive purchasing a home as a first time home-buyer is that loans may also feature a limit on the fees that the lender may charge. Like the reduction in down payments, this is made possible by government mortgage insurance available to new homeowners. For an annual cost, HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) insures your mortgage, therefore reducing the risk to the mortgage company. As a result, the mortgage company has the ability to charge lower amounts and down payments to you while still being profitable.
  • Low-income first time home-buyers may be eligible for subsidized interest programs. This means that a third party pays the interest on your loan amount. These programs can make your mortgage payments more reasonable and enable you to pay off the loan more quickly. While the government is one of the most common subsidizers of loans, they can also be subsidized by charities, organizations, or even individuals.


Loans for first time buyers are traditionally available only to those who are going to reside in the home they purchase as their main place of residence. The home will also have to be in good condition with no safety hazards present. And for the reason that these products are intended for those in need, there is a limit on the amount of the home you can buy through these programs.

There are a lot of programs to take advantage of and assist you as a first time home-buyer. These programs are all designed to helping you reach your goal of purchasing a home. First time home ownership has become much more obtainable with programs like lowered down payments and subsidized interest. There are many opportunities you can take to make your dream of owning your own home a reality!

Are you in the market for a new home? Do you want to get information on all the ins-and-out of purchasing a home []? You will also find useful articles on real estate topics such as selling your home, house mortgages, and finding a realtor. Stop by Homes In Pasadena [] today!

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Condos vs Single Family Homes In Orange County

There is a constant debate in the real estate industry over which type of home is more valuable and preferable, the condo or the traditional home. And you know what? It’s a tough call and a highly personal choice. Both types of homes offer some great options and seem to be tailor made for certain lifestyles, and indeed each type is definitely suited to specific lifestyles. These should all be considered before the purchase of either type of home and factored into the decision to purchase.

Condos, for example tend to lend themselves towards a more active and professional lifestyle. As many condo complexes are located in urban centers that have become ideal residences for those who work and play in the city. Condos and high rises have become synonymous with city life and developers are now focusing more on building upwards rather than outwards. High rises have become part of the city landscape and builders have had to get clever about how they present their new buildings to match the evolving and discerned taste of today’s average condo buyer. Condos are also offering a number of great lifestyle choices woven into the buildings themselves, health clubs and spas are becoming commonplace in most new developments amongst other valuable additions.

Homes on the other hand have always been the traditional place where people raise families and this has not changed. The single family home has maintained it’s allure over the years and has never lost that special feeling that come with its purchase. Taking care of a home can be a bit more work than a condo but that is all part of the charm of a home, you are free to make it into your dream residence. Another thing about homes that is a good asset is the fact that your neighbors are a short distance away. It can be aggravating living in a condo or apartment with noisy neighbors. Single family homes generally have a sense of freedom to them that is hard to achieve in any kind of housing.

Both types of homes are great investments that should see nice appreciation in the coming years. Single family homes are becoming more rare as space is quickly being used up in many areas. Condos on the other hand seem to be going up everywhere around any typical city. Whichever you choose, know that you are making a long-term investment in your future.

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Buying a Home? Don’t Make These Mistakes

It’s a buyer’s market, no doubt about that. Inventory is up, sales prices are down and mortgages are more affordable than ever. However, that doesn’t mean that the road to homeownership is completely free of potholes. There are still some very common mistakes that many homebuyers – especially first-time homebuyers – may find themselves making.

1. Judging a House By Its Cover

When choosing a new home you have to be willing to look beyond the surface. The market right now is filled with older homes and bank-owned properties that may not have been kept up well. It’s easy to fall in love with some of these homes on first sight, but they may be hiding serious problems below the surface. It’s always best to know about these problems ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into and how much this new house might actually cost you in the long run. Don’t skimp on the home inspections.

2. Location, Location and That Third Thing Too

Of course, the house itself is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a new home, but you should also take a close look at the location that you’re moving into. How is the neighborhood? That house may not be worth it when you realize you’ll have to deal with noisy (or nosy!) neighbors or a power-mad homeowner’s association. It may not be worth it when realize that your new home comes complete with a long commute to the office, or even just to the grocery store. It may not be worth it if it’s in an area of town where you’re afraid to leave your car in the driveway at night because it might be stolen by the time you wake up in the morning.

The house itself is only a part of what you’re purchasing. Make sure you really get to know the area before you buy into it. Drive the neighborhood at different times of day. Test out the commute to and from work a few times. Eat at one of the neighborhood restaurants. You want to be happy with every part of your new home.

3. Not Knowing What You Can Afford

Many buyers just don’t do their homework before they start looking for a home. Some do a limited amount of homework, using websites and online calculators to determine what they think they can afford. But few do the real amount of homework that should be required. Calculators can give you some decent numbers some of the time, but they can’t predict how a lender will react to your loan request. Most banks have tightened up their requirements in recent years, making it a bit trickier to qualify for a home loan. It’s best to go straight to a lender or mortgage broker and ask them to help you determine exactly what you will be able to afford. Then, armed with those real and realistic numbers, you can begin your search for a new home.

4. Making Unrealistic Offers

Everyone’s heard the stories by now – sellers are so desperate to sell their homes they’ll gratefully take any ridiculous offer that is thrown their way! Obviously, that’s an exaggeration, but many home buyers take this attitude when they start looking for homes. Even if a house has been on the market for months, giving the seller a severely low offer, or making unreasonable demands, will be more likely to insult them than to earn their gratitude. And nice homes in nice neighborhoods – especially those that have just come on the market – will still often get multiple offers. Don’t try to unfairly take advantage of sellers in difficult positions, it has a good chance of backfiring on you. Stick to reasonable offers and you’re still bound to find a good deal.

5. Skipping the Agent

Many buyers now think that because so many websites offer so much information on current listings, they no longer need an agent to help them find a house. Of course, that part may be true. With the prevalence of good internet searches, it is entirely possible to find the home you’re looking for all by yourself. But what about the rest of the process? Handling the intricacies and irritations of financing, making offers, getting home inspections, setting up showings, dealing with seller’s agents and every other important aspect of buying a home is usually far more than a buyer is able to handle on their own. Hiring an agent to act on your behalf helps to guarantee that everything gets done right the first time.

But don’t just hire an agent based on a fancy website or a bus stop bench advertisement. Ask around to friends and family, go online and look up recommendations and testimonials. Find someone who is recommended by someone else you trust before you decide.

When buying a home, take your time and try to be smart about everything you do. With patience, determination and, hopefully, a little bit of professional advice, you’ll do just fine.

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Never Buy a Rent-To-Own-Home Without Considering These 5 Things

Are you are looking into the idea of Rent to Buy homes (also known as lease to own)? How would you like to have a road map to help you find your way? These 5 tips will get you started but, you will need many more questions answered. You can find more tips on the authors site. Do a rent to own at your own risk without consulting the list below!

Consider This….

  1. Location, location, location. The old axiom applies to Rent to Own as it would with any other purchase of real estate. Ask yourself, would I want to raise my children here? If the answer is yes, on to step 2.
  2. If you can get a loan/mortgage and purchase the home outright, you may be better off doing so.If you think you may need to move within 2 or 3 years, Rent to own might be a better option even if you can get a mortgage now.
  3. A Lease to Own/Rent to own is similar to “living together before you get married”. You might find out the other is a perfect fit. Or, you might find out the house has some really nasty habits! Either way, you haven’t made a life altering commitment. And, if you want to, you can take the plunge get a mortgage and make the commitment to own.
  4. Make sure all the terms of the agreement to Lease to Own/Rent to buy are spelled out in writing. This one seems obvious but many people just don’t do this. It’s difficult to be dispassionate about something you really want. Be sure and have someone other than yourself, preferably a real estate attorney, look it over and explains the terms to you. You can call any title company and they will have an attorney on staff who can do this for a very small fee. Do this and you may save yourself finding out some huge, costly, surprise later.
  5. Want to take the risk out of option to purchase? The option to purchase is the agreement that says you can (but don’t have to) buy the home for a specific price for a specific length of time; 1 year 2 year, etc. In a market where home prices are going up fast, less risk for you if you lock in a price in your option to purchase. In a market where prices are flat or falling (like now 2008) you have less risk if you don’t lock in the price. How do you do that? Ask the seller to put in where the purchase price goes in the Option this; “Price will be determined by a mutually agreed upon appraisal at time of executing Purchase Option”. This will mean you get a fair price when your ready to buy and so does the seller!

Other questions you will want to explore; is rent to own right for me? Why? Is now a good time to move? Want to learn more about Rent to Own/Lease to Own? Search the Internet or stop by the authors site and get the information you need to decide if it’s right for you.

Mark Brosius invites you to learn about rent-to-own home ownership and get on our list of available properties for the Metro Indianapolis Indiana area. []

(c) Copyright – Mark Brosius and All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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