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Smart Home Buyers

Get The Most Out of This Buyer’s Market
by Being a Smart Home Buyer

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Homebuyers in the High Desert Region of San Bernardino County CA have a great chance to buy a home for a cozy price, and may even have some concessions thrown in. If you are a buyer you can make the most of the market by adhering to the adage, “buyer beware.”

The real estate conditions might seem ideal if you are a buyer: tons of new homes throughout Apple Valley, Victorville and Hesperia, a slew of older homes, highly motivated sellers, foreclosures, auctions and lots of incentives to buyers to buy, buy, buy. That doesn’t mean that you should lose your common sense and snatch up a home without thinking. The same conditions that lure you, the buyer, also lure people willing to take advantage of your eagerness to benefit from the buyer’s market.

A recent Realty Times article lays out a step-by-step guide to navigate today’s market conditions and not get duped in the process.

Buy now for the right reasons. Do not buy now just because everyone says you’re crazy to pass up these great deals. Do not buy now if you have to stretch financially to buy a lower-priced home, foreclosure or short sale. You are setting yourself up for failure. It is true that you could miss out on a good deal if you wait for prices to fall even further, but you won’t know when the market has hit bottom until it is past bottom and on its way up again. Buy now if it is the right thing to do for you and your family. Buy now because it is more affordable than renting and you need a roof over your head. Buy now because you plan on living in a home long enough to make the deal pay off. Buy now because owning your own home is an important part of your budget, lifestyle and goals.

  • Understand the home buying process. There is a lot to know about buying a home, but luckily you only need to spend time and attention doing it. There is an incredible amount of information available on our web site and the Internet. You can also ask the advice of the experts, such as real estate agents, mortgage brokers and accredited home ownership counselors. Some colleges or organizations even offer classes. Knowing what you are about to get yourself into is a good idea. In other words, “look before you leap.”
  • Now understand the local market. National news on the real estate market is just that: national. It may not actually pertain to Evanston, Illinois, or Victorville, California. Obtain housing news and information from credible publications and broadcasts that cover your market. Read the local paper and watch the local news. Consider partnering with an agent with experience in the area. You should also be sure to learn the parameters of your market, whether by zip code, a certain neighborhood or a greater community.  Our Market Condition Report is an excellent source of local information.
  • Know the “true value” of any property you consider. In today’s market of confusing circumstances, such as foreclosures and concessions, buyers can lose sight of the true value of the home. No matter what kind of property you are considering, you need to understand what you’re looking at. Inexperienced or uneducated buyers can low-ball sellers, which can sometimes pay off, but can also sometimes alienate sellers, especially those who are less motivated to sell and have a top-value home. This type of knowledge can also prevent you from spending too much. To understand the market value of homes in our area, connect with your real estate agent who is experienced in utilizing local market trends and statistics. You can see comparable homes, track sale prices in your market and keep tabs on asking prices. You should also visit open houses to see what’s out there and how it compares to the place down the street.
  • Check on your credit – before you start shopping. You can obtain a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, the only federally regulated credit source. You may have to pay a fee for your credit score, but you should see both your score and the report. Before you start loan shopping, you want to ensure your creditworthiness, request corrections and possibly change your habits to bump your score. You can also become a Buyers Advantage member and get a free credit report with scores.
  • Be prepared and be pre-approved. Getting approved, in writing, for a mortgage, is a great first step. You can use this knowledge to shop around for the best home loan.  Shop the Internet, loan officers, brokers, credit unions and other sources. Try your bank or other banks. You will get the most money at the cheapest rate if your comparison shopping is exhaustive.

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