Three Home Buying Tips No One Told You About

You probably have already heard the usual home buying tips. Here are three that aren’t as common but help to land houses that are cheap and below market price.

Home Buying Tip #1 – Buying A House Isn’t Always The Best Plan

Of course real estate agents may say that buying a home is always a good idea. It certainly is good for them, as well as for title companies and bankers. But it isn’t necessarily a good idea for you.

Believe it or not, there are towns where the home values haven’t gone up much – if at all – in ten years or more. Of course in the last year (this is being written in 2007) the prices in many areas have actually dropped in value. The point? Home values do not always go up – at least not in a given year or even several. So don’t buy a home as a get-rich plan.

Maybe you are sure that prices will rise where you are. Even then, though, a home isn’t necessarily a good investment, if rents are low relative to home prices. In Tucson, Arizona, for example, a two-bedroom home might sell for $190,000, but you can rent one for just $750 per month. If you spend $700 less each month versus buying, and bank that money, you could be further ahead financially three years from now.

Consider how long you’ll be in the home. This is important because of transaction costs. Buying and later selling your home can cost 10% of the home value. It will have to go up that much in value just to even break even. If you move in the first couple years and prices have gone nowhere, you’ll end up thousands of dollars further behind. If you aren’t going to be in the home very long, it may be best to make another decision and find a different place to live.

Home Buying Tip #2 – A Real Estate Agent Is Not Your Friend

Even if your agent actually is your friend, she won’t necessarily look out for your best interest. In fact, she can’t, if she is working for the seller. Unless specifically is working as a buyer’s agent, she is legally obligated to work for the interest of the seller. The seller, after all, is the one paying the commission. If you say something like “I might go $5,000 higher,” she is obligated to pass on this information to the seller.

Even with a buyers agent, be careful, because people talk – even good agents. Don’t say things you don’t want known by all. Also keep in mind that agents make money only when there is a sale, and they make more on larger sales. This might mean less than perfect objectivity when helping you choose a home.

Sometimes, it is even just as good to bypass the agent altogether if you are sure that you can make a nice and soldiery decision without falling for any other traps. This is because the agent may rush yo into buying a home because ultimately it is good for them if you purchase the house for commission. If you are able to buy without their help, you can save money as well because you wont have to pay for the agent fees.

An agent isn’t always the most reliable person that can help with a home. Sometimes your gut decision works best too, even though an agent has a lot of knowledge. They are very focused on making money for themselves that they might not help you make the best decision that is ideal for you and your family.

Home Buying Tip #3 – Low Offers Work Sometimes

The real estate agents out there won’t appreciate this tip, because low offers are embarrassing for them to bring to a seller. It may even be embarrassing for you to make the offer. However, I have a friend who embarrassed himself into a lakefront home for 15% less than it was worth. Would you like to immediately increase your net worth by $40,000 when buying a home?

Here’s how low offers work: rarely. You’ll let many nice homes get away, you’ll spend a lot of time making offers, and you’ll annoy real estate agents. However, as long as you don’t have time constraints, or the fantasy that there is one “perfect” house for you, making low offers can be a good way to save money. But here’s one last home buying tip: If none of your offers even get you a counter-offer, you may really be wasting your time and trying to go too low.

If you continue to make low, but reasonable offers, there is a very high chance that you will find a winner house that comes into your price range. Surely, one house will come your way with a price that may be reasonable to you. Making low offers is a good idea most of the time, even though it may be hard to find a winner right away.

These are 3 home buying tips that are pretty hidden and not many people generally resort to them, but they can help you find a nice home that is cheaper than the market value – and fast!

14 Responses to “Three Home Buying Tips No One Told You About

  • Shavonda Reddin
    3 years ago

    Hi, my name is Shavonda and I’m a single mother of 4. I work full-time and I also go to school full-time. I’m intrested in buying a home for the first time, but my credit isn’t the best, mostly doctor bills. I want to make a better living for me and my four kids, and be able to give them the life they deserve. Is there any help for me? I live in South Carolina,and I hear alot about single parent programs but not sure how to apply for them. HELP ME!!!

  • Miranda
    4 years ago

    I’m a single mom of 2 really needing help with debt and wanting a place of my own currently renting

  • I am single mom with twin 3 kides mom I need help to get a house please help me thank you my email is I need help

  • is there an a morgage broker or co that knows about grant or help for single moms trying to buy a house i cannot find a website

    • I don’t have the information to provide you a broker or company but,
      You can contact HIP(Housing Initiative Program) who help find homes suitable for your needs,
      and you can apply for Housing Grants for single moms to help you in buying a house.

  • Hi, I live in South Africa. Do we also have housing grants? I have 2 daughters a grandchild and took in a girl who`s mom just left her alone in a flat and moved away.

    • You might want to check with the government or any other place who can provide help financially. Most of the information in this website is only for the U.S, but surely there are government ways you can receive help as well.

  • how do i get to keep my home even when its in foreclosure but not yet went before a judge? i went through a divorce 4 years ago and got my home,but mortgage company decided to foreclose in nov 2011, even when i could make payments only if they would lower interest and reduce payments. they had been modifing the loan because of my income but then i started receiving child support and then they wante to fore close. i want to keep my home,ive lived here for 7 years,and it will cost me too much to move, the loan was under fha and wells fargo, i was a co-borrower on the loan,can anyone let me know what to do!


  • Ok I am a single mom that works full time, I am in the house we were in as a married couple. However, after 5 years of struggling to make ends meet I am contemplating moving to an apartment. Most apartments in my area aren’t much less per month than my mortgage, the only relief would be that I would not be responsible for a yard, up keep and maintenance on a house. Someone suggested that I see if I could refinance, I know nothing about this process and since my divorce 4 years ago my credit is awful. I am trying to find resources to help me decide if it’s better for me to stay in my home and continue to try to make it work, to try and refinance or to move into an apartment until a later date. Any advice or information would be a hugh benefit. Thank you!

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