Shari Sagan McGuirk's Blog
A buyer's market typically is a dream come true for those who want to find a high-quality and affordable house. In fact, there are many things you can do to capitalize on a buyer's market to ensure you can purchase a house that you'll be able to enjoy for years to come.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get the most out of a buyer's market.
1. Narrow Your Home Search
Consider where you want to live and what you want to find in your dream home – you'll be glad you did. If you hone your house search, you can avoid wasting time and resources on homes that fail to meet your expectations.
As you evaluate potential home destinations, think about your day-to-day activities. For example, if you work in the city, you may want to search for houses that are in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you have kids, you may want to explore residences near parks and other family-friendly attractions.
In addition, it often helps to make a list of home must-haves. Once you know what features you want in your dream home, you can conduct an in-depth search to discover a house that will suit you perfectly.
2. Get a Mortgage
A mortgage is crucial, particularly for individuals who want to take advantage of a buyer's market. Because if you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you can map out your home search based on your budget.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage generally won't take long. Banks and credit unions are happy to teach you everything you need to know about home financing and help you select the right mortgage. Furthermore, these financial institutions employ mortgage specialists who can respond to your home financing concerns and queries.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you want to streamline your search for a home in a buyer's market, you should work with an expert real estate agent. That way, you can receive homebuying tips and recommendations you may struggle to receive elsewhere.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to complete a successful house search in a buyer's market. As such, he or she will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true.
For instance, if you want to purchase a top-notch house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Or, if you want to buy a house at a low price, a real estate agent can help you discover a terrific residence that matches your pricing expectations.
As you get set to enter a buyer's market, it helps to prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can simplify your home pursuit in a buyer's market. As a result, you can find a wonderful residence that is sure to serve you well both now and in the future.
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Every industry has its specific vocabulary. Real estate is no exception. If you are new to the home-buying market, you may find yourself stumped by the abbreviations, lingo, acronyms, and unfamiliar jargon commonly used in real estate sales materials, online listings, contracts, and the like. Do not be confused. Learn the terms so you can read that paperwork with ease. Abatement is a real estate term with which you need to become familiar.
In standard legal terms, abatement means the removal or diminishment of something. In residential real estate, this term usually refers to property tax in the form of a property tax abatement. Since property taxes become ongoing annual homeowner expenses even after you entirely pay off a mortgage, being able to access a property tax abatement is an asset. For example, if a municipality such as a city, county, state, or other property-tax entity offers you a tax reduction, it could reduce the monthly housing costs by up to five percent during the period of abatement.
Property tax abatement programs can make it easier to qualify for a larger mortgage by reducing your income/debt to housing cost ratio. Also, while the reduction is effective, it adds value to your home when you're ready to put it on the market.
Certain tax abatements are for one-time improvements to an existing property. These could be for upgrades such as:
- Converting non-residential buildings to residential use
- Installing environmentally friendly additions
- Renovations that increase property value
Typically, these improvements must conform to the requirements, and follow building codes and permitting processes. If you've planned to purchase a home for renovation purposes, make sure that your agent knows so that you get advice on any reductions in effect for the houses you consider.
Along with state or local abatements, there are some federal tax incentives for restoration and preservation of homes designated as historical or with public value. Other abatements may be for qualified newly constructed homes.
Some municipalities have property tax abatements that are effective for several years. Most often these are in place to attract buyers to redeveloping neighborhoods or areas that are under renewal, in the process of revitalization, or are in lower demand. The specific qualification requirements for tax abatements differ, so be sure to talk with your agent about access to potential abatements when house-hunting.
Asbestos and Lead-Paint
Other uses for the term abatement relating to real estate include some expenses associated with buying an older property or a property's repurposing from commercial to residential. For example, when purchasing a home built prior to 1978, any renovations or improvements might need to conform to lead paint abatement requirements. A potential abatement cost is for asbestos removal. Before the 1970s, asbestos featured regularly as insulation in ducts and pipes, concrete exterior siding, floor tiles, as vermiculite attic insulation, in wall or ceiling acoustical tiles. The Environmental Protection Agency oversees asbestos removal, so if you plan to make changes to a property older than the 70s, your realtor can help you navigate all the requirements of asbestos abatement and may recommend qualified professional asbestos removal contractors. Certain older homes might be eligible for asbestos or lead paint removal grants.
Your agent can help you determine for which programs the home you are considering buying might qualify. Be sure to ask them about both tax abatements and asbestos or lead paint abatement grant programs.