Don’t Follow These 5 Pieces of Bad Home-Buying Advice

Here are five pieces of bad home-buying advice you should avoid. 

Recently, I read an article titled, “5 Pieces of Outdated Home-Buying Advice Your Parents Might Give You.” I thought it had some pretty interesting things to say, and I’d like to give you my two cents on it: 

1. Don’t pay the full price on your initial offer. This strategy might make sense in a buyer’s market or even a balanced market, but we are living through a strong seller’s market right now. You may have heard things are cooling off, but this just means it takes two weeks to sell a home instead of one. In a strong market like ours, put your best offer forward immediately. You don’t want to lose out on a great home. 

2. When you check out a property, don’t let the Realtor know you like it. This one is pretty backward. In reality, you’ll probably look at homes with your agent, not the listing agent, and the sellers usually aren’t in the house while you look at it. If you are alone in the home with your agent, make sure you’re honest with them about what you think. Our job is to get you what you want, so the better you communicate, the easier it is for us to get you a great deal.

"The better you communicate with your agent, the more likely we are to get you a great deal."

3. Buy something you can see yourself living in for years. I used to give this advice to my clients, but now I’m rethinking it, especially for first-time buyers. As with most things in real estate, the truth is that it depends on your situation. For young people, it might be a good idea to buy a starter home to ensure financial security and grow your investments. Recently, I was working with a couple who started out looking for their “forever” home, but we pivoted to a starter home. They plan to turn it into a rental in a few years, and the income they make on that will help them pay their next mortgage.

4. You need a 20% down payment. This has never been more wrong. In today’s world, there are plenty of options that don’t require 20% down. It is true that your mortgage payments will be higher, but it’s like I said before: What’s right for you depends on your situation. It could make sense for you to put less money down so that you can build equity sooner.

5. Use the same lender we used! Lenders are not one-size-fits-all. While interest rates probably won’t change much between lenders, their fees will. Make sure to shop around and find the right lender for you. Don’t worry about your FICO score; they take into account that you’re shopping around. 

If you have any questions about today’s topic, please call or email me. I am always willing to answer any questions you might have. I look forward to hearing from you!

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