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12 Wise Steps for Buying a Home (Part 2)

12 Wise Steps for Buying a Home (Part 2)

If you read my last post “12 Wise Steps for Buying a Home” a couple of days ago, you discovered the first six wise things you should do when buying a home to make sure you buy wisely and keep from getting burned financially on what is usually the largest purchase you’ll ever make.

Most of these items are common sense, but you’d be surprised how some home buyers don’t pay attention to these details and end up regretting that they really didn’t sit down and consider the future consequences of how they handle their real estate purchase today.

So now let’s take a look at the second six Wise Steps for Buying a Home, tips that will help you make the best purchase possible and avoid a housing headache.

7. Avoid Getting “House Fever”

It can be so easy to get caught up in the emotion of buying a house, especially if it’s your first one. So take it slow, take your time, and wait for the right home at the right price. Don’t jump too quickly and spend more than you intended because you got caught up in the emotion of it all. You have to make sure and keep some emotional distance between you and the purchase.

Don’t let the siren’s song of granite countertops and custom cabinets lead you into the rocky abyss of buying more than you can afford. Check your emotions at the door and learn to look at things objectively.

8. Take a Lot of Pictures

You’ll probably end up looking at a lot of houses during the buying process, and each one is going to have its strengths and weaknesses. If you take detailed pics of each property, highlighting the good and bad aspects of each one , it will save you a lot of time because you can compare each property side by side without having to make multiple visits (House with hardwood floors, check. House with the green bathtub, bye bye).

Once you've had time to eliminate the homes you don’t want, then you can go back and take a second look.

9. Get an Inspection

This step is usually required by the mortgage company. An inspection by a certified and professional home inspector can save you a ton of headaches and money. They can find things wrong that may not be readily obvious, which can protect you from buying a home with hidden problems that could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs, like mold or a posse of ‘possums living in the attic insulation.

A good inspector will cost you a few hundred dollars, but that money is worth the peace of mind you get from knowing exactly what kind of shape the house is in.

10. Don’t Buy if You Don’t Plan on Staying a Few Years

Buying a home is a huge commitment, and if you think you’ll only be there for 2-3 years it may not be worth paying all the fees that come with buying a home, only to sell it soon after. Staying in a house only a short time doesn’t allow enough time to gain equity to offset all the expenses of buying.

Sometimes you may have a surprise job transfer or a change in life circumstances that means you have to move after only a couple of years, but if you know starting out you won’t be there long, renting may be the better option for the short term.

11. Get a Title Search Done

A title search is also required by the mortgage company. A title company will search all available public records to make sure there are no liens against the house and to make sure that the person selling the house is the legal and rightful owner. If any problems are found they can be resolved before the sale moves forward.

12. If You Already Have a House, Sell It First!

I cannot stress this enough, SELL YOUR HOUSE FIRST! Especially when the real estate market is slow (Like now), it may take months, even a year or two to get rid of your existing house. Buying a new house before you sell the old one results in two house payments as well as double the electricity, gas, water, and other utilities (you have to keep them on in order to show the house to buyers).

Not selling your house first will drain you financially, and if it goes on long enough it will force you to take less for your house just so you can get out from under those extra expenses. It’s a money losing proposition no matter how you look at it. Believe me, I know this from personal experience.

So that’s it, that’s all I have for now. I hope these 12 little slices of knowledge add up to one extra large pizza pie of low stress home ownership for many years to come.

"Dr. Jason Cabler is a Christian personal finance blogger, author, and speaker. He teaches how to get out of debt and live a debt free lifestyle through his Celebrating Financial Freedom blog and self study course . His new book "How to Budget- The Quick and Easy Guide to Making a Budget That Works" is now available ( more info here ). He can be reached for interviews or speaking engagements by email , and can be found on Twitter , Facebook , and Google + ."

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