Buying It

I sold real estate for a brief time. That is one cut-throat world of corruption. Bounced that job real quick. I've since bought six properties and sold four. Here are a few suggestions when buying, mostly from mistakes I've made. 

+ Trust your gut. If you walk in and feel it just feels right, it probably is. If you walk in and walk right out again, it probably isn't for you. This tip is from my mother and it's a good one.

+ See the light. Visit at different times throughout the day to see how the light comes and goes. Does it come at all? No matter how goth you want to be, darkness is probably not something you want to endure for years to come.

+ Patience and money. If it's a place you're hoping to renovate, you'll need lots of both. Be realistic about how much you can spend and how much improvements cost. When you estimate the price of a project, multiply by 3 and you'll get close.

+ Never trust your real estate broker, he or she is ONLY trying to make the sale. Even if it's your sister-in-law.

Don't be stupid. Don't believe anything an inspector, agent, or homeowner tells you unless you find information to back it up on your own. If your home inspector finds a big problem, depending on what it is have a plumber, electrician, roofer, or structural engineer take a look at it. They're the real experts and will give you an estimate for the work while they're at it.

+ Follow your building inspector around on inspection day and make them explain everything in detail. They miss stuff all the time so test things yourself like windows, lights, outlets, faucets, drains, etc. Go to town.

Do research. Public records are online and will tell you if it's been bought or sold recently. One of our brokers neglected to tell us the home had sold for less than half the price just a few months prior, and we already had a contract on it. Fired that bitch.

Location is crucial but it's not everything. Don't buy something just for its location especially if it's overpriced or because people say the word three times in a row.

Don't rush. It's the largest wad you'll ever blow, so talk it over. A lot. To death. More than they do on HGTV shows.

Soul search. In other words, ask yourself if it's really you. Look very closely. Is it?

Don't borrow more than you can afford right now. And, if possible, get a 15 year loan. Markets crash and circumstances change so play it safe.

Expect surprises. Both good and bad will happen once you're in. Home ownership has a steep learning curve. You will have buyer's remorse at some point. Absolutely no doubt about it. You will come up with insulting nicknames for whomever you bought it from. Completely normal.

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