Real Estate

Buying a home is probably the most significant investment you’ll ever make in your life. However, just because houses are costly doesn’t mean you should pay more than is necessary.

According to the Case-Shiller Housing Index, housing prices have finally recovered in the United States, after the real estate market crash. While this is good for the overall economy, it makes finding a good house for sale deals quite difficult.

Most buyers go comparison shopping when looking for a new house. However, unlike was the case during the housing downturn; there isn’t much to look around. Today, it’s tougher to get great deals on homes for sale than it was a couple of years ago. However, this does not mean finding good deals is impossible.

Read on for some tips that you can follow to increase your odds of landing a great housing deal:

Choose the Right Lender

Before starting to search for a house, you need the right lender and mortgage. The right lender for you will have access to grant programs, including those for special down payment options, and first-time homebuyer programs.

Finding the right lender can make or break a deal – probably costing you thousands of dollars over time. Home loans are expensive. Therefore, you have to do your homework well to determine the best type of loan to apply for and the lender to work with.

Hire a Professional Real Estate Agent

A good agent can play a critical role in helping you find a home that is within your budget. Experienced realtors can do the legwork for you, jumping through the bumps and hoops of a home purchase.

Buying a house is a complex, emotional transaction. Many first-time homebuyers end up accepting poor deals because they let emotions cloud their judgment. Bringing a realtor on board can give you an edge in the transactions by leveraging on his/her experience in handling similar transactions for a long time.

If you cannot stomach the three percent commission that most realtors charge, negotiate it down. If you and the seller are stuck over a couple of thousand dollars, don’t be surprised if the realtor throws in some of his/her commission to make the deal happen. Most of the time, agents are only paid for successful transactions.

Watch for Extras

When buying a house, you can negotiate nearly anything. Some sellers may be willing to part with some of their belongings to make their deals attractive. If you play your cards right, you can get valuable appliances, like dishwashers and refrigerators, at a fraction of their cost.
Once you are ready to sign the home sale contract, be prepared to negotiate the extras.

Don’t Hire A Real Estate Agent

You can end up saving thousands of dollars in commission fees if you opt to do things on your own rather than hire a realtor to help you. The internet has democratized information, and with some little research, you can gather your data regarding homes that are within your budget.

The internet has made it easier for anyone to find information about homes for sale. From getting listings in neighborhoods that you prefer to unbiased pricing information of the value of your home, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to buy a home without the help of a real estate agent.

However, buyer beware: while there is a lot of information on buying a house on your own, this doesn’t mean it’s the best route to go. When you are serious about buying a home and are ready to put down some money, the advice from an experienced realtor on the nuances of a deal will prove invaluable.

Find the Lowest Interest Rate

Shop around and compare interest rates from different lenders. The rates vary from lender to lender. A mortgage broker can help you get a better rate by providing a comparison shopping portal for interest rates offers from multiple lenders.

Most of the time, the rates will be similar to other rates based on your financial situation. However, if you want to get your total price down, you may want to compare the rates.

Avoid the Closing Costs

Another way of keeping your home buying costs down is by asking the seller to pay the closing costs. Generally, sellers don’t like selling their house for a lower amount than they expect. This is especially the case if other comparable homes in the neighborhood sold for higher prices.

Instead of negotiating the price down, ask the seller to pay the closing costs. This is a good way of saving some bucks off the transaction while still boosting the seller’s ego by paying the full price.

Follow the above tips to get the best deal on your first home.