According to Boston Pads, the largest database of rental properties in the Greater Boston Area, foreclosures are thinning out daily and are almost back to where they were before the property crash (fueled by the economic downturn) occurred. This can mean only one thing for buyers looking to get on the property market – the time is right to start making plans to get your foot on the ladder. Fortunately, properties are not back to where they were when they were being sold for inflated prices. This will give you a chance to start your American dream of owning your own home – and at a fair price too.
However, before you attempt to buy your own home, it's worth taking some key lessons from expert real estate agents found on the Boston Pads website . Make yourself a list and make sure all these key elements are in place before you make the jump.
Lessons from Boston Pads on Buying the Right Property
With research showing that home buyers are better off than people who rent despite the rise in property prices, and with data showing that buying property is 10% cheaper than renting, perhaps it's time to get that property? Here are some key lessons shared from Boston Pads:
1. Make sure you can afford the mortgage
Okay, this one seems really basic, but Boston Pads insist that this is one of – if not the main reason – there have been so many tragic foreclosures in our neighborhoods. Big and small banks alike may have had some questionable dealings in the past and may have given inflated mortgages to people who couldn't really afford them. While this is unfair to the borrowers on the lenders’ behalf, the lenders themselves have a measure of responsibility in the matter.
Having a great-looking house with a massive curb appeal will appeal to most buyers and stoke most people’s egos. However, if your situation should shift – even slightly – you’re in danger of losing not just your house, but your home and feelings of security and safety.
Your mortgage repayments should not be the highest you can possibly afford. They should be an amount you can comfortably afford to overpay most months. This will mean that you’ll live in a smaller, less grand house than you want, but it will also mean that you’re never in danger of been thrown out of your home either.
2. Do your research about what other similar houses on the street have been sold for
This is not difficult to do at all. Boston Pads provides information that can help you with this if you wish, but a simple online research can give you the details you’re after. Knowing what other similar homes on the street have been sold for is important because it gives you an indication of whether or not you’re getting a fair price. Admittedly, the house you’re buying may have been remodeled or extended. Regardless of these factors, real estate in most areas have a price limit where houses of similar size and age are concerned.
Do your research or ask Boston Pads for help so that you can outline your findings to the present owners, quoting what similar houses have gone for in the area. In many cases you can use this information to beat down the asking price of the property if it’s too high.
3. Don’t skimp on property checks
It will cost you money to do property checks to make sure that you’re getting what you’re paying for. Don’t skimp on these checks, as any money you save not doing them could be false economy. Have professionals in to check on the plumbing and electrics etc.
If you’re planning to remodel it goes without saying that you need to ask your contractor to give you a price on the work you may want to have done. If for instance, you have to replace the roof; or have to do necessary plumbing work in the bathroom because it’s not adequate; or you have to do any sort of rewiring etc, you can use your contractor’s cost quote to reduce the asking price of the property you’re buying. Any work that is deemed necessary for normal living conditions can be used to bargain against the asking price.
4. Research your surroundings
As any professional real estate agent found on Boston Pads will tell you, research your area thoroughly. Provide yourself with enough due diligence and do not rely on others to provide you with important and relevant information like the crime rate, public transportation availability, accessibility of services etc. Nearly all information is easily accessible from both the phone and internet. Some significant questions are: will you be able to get to schools, shops, sports centers etc with ease? Will the crime rate eventually devalue your home? Will you have easy access to buses, trains etc? What are the public services in the area and how good is the emergency response? Remember, it is important that you do these types of inquiries on your own behalf. Real estate agents are often not allowed to comment on safety and crime issues.
According to Boston Pads the above are just some basic elements you should address before thinking about buying property. Remember that a house is not just a house. It’s going to be the place you feel most comfortable and happy in – your sanctuary, your home. It’s the largest asset you’ll ever possess and you will probably have it for longer than you’ll hang onto any other thing you own, so it’s important to get things right at the planning stages rather than be sorry later on.