Tips for Buying a House in the Spring Market

By Lillian Montalto

Spring is officially here; the real estate
market bustling with new listings and open houses. If you are planning on buying
a home, here are some tips that will make your house-hunting experience positive
and productive.

Finding the right real estate agent that will work with
you is an important first step in the home buying process. This is an important
endeavor, and as such, you want to make sure that your personality is compatible
with that of your agent. Since you will be working closely on making significant
decisions, having an agent who thoroughly understands your goals is paramount.
Here are some tips for finding the perfect agent:

  • Have your buyer's agent put you on a daily email drip with your buying
    criteria so that you are kept informed daily of what is coming to Market. The
    Market is heating is up, and the property may be gone before you are able to
    view it.
  • Ask your agent about their background and qualifications. Make sure the
    person you chose to represent you is able to handle the nuances of buying and
    selling properties.

The next step is to ensure sure you do your
research to find the right community for you and your needs. Deciding what type
of neighborhood you want to live in is crucial; rural, suburban, or the city?
Check out what the surrounding area offers, see what the downtown is like. Is it
filled with coffee shops, grocery stores, banks, schools? Learning about the
neighborhood of where you are looking to purchase a home is almost as important
as picking the home you want to purchase. Here are some tips to help you make
the best decision with regard to the neighborhood:

  • If you are looking to move in to a specific neighborhood, make sure that the
    other homes in the neighborhood are consistent in value to what you may be
    purchasing. It's always best to be one of the smaller homes in the neighborhood
    vs. being the largest and most expensive home in the neighborhood.
  • It is always good to check with the local police station to see if that area
    has any recent crime reports. Also, it would be wise to check on line at to see if there are any sex offenders residing in the area.
  • Check the School Ratings in the Town that you are considering buying in.
    Even if you do not have children in school, when it comes time to sell that
    home, it will be an important selling factor.

When you have found
a property you are interested in, ask any and every question you can think of;
no question is too big or too small. You want to make sure that there are no
surprises after you close the deal and are ready to move in. Property damage
repair, renovations, electrical/heating systems, and foundation are only a few
of the areas you should inquire about. Here are some of the very important
questions you should always ask:

  • Ask to see a copy of the Seller's Disclosure and a history of any repairs or
    renovations they have done.
  • Ask if there have been any other offers on the property, and if so, have
    there been any professional inspections performed. If there has, ask what issues
    may have surfaced from the inspection and have they been corrected?
  • Always ask if they have had any water problems in the basement. Telltale
    signs would be: a musty odor, and in unfinished basements, it is typical to see
    white lines of effervescence around the foundation, if water problems persist.
  • If there is a separate hot water tank, always ask if the seller owns it or
    is leasing it.
  • Ask if there has there ever been an underground oil tank, and if so, ask to
    see the documentation that it was professionally removed.
  • If there has recently been sewer installed in the area, and the home you are
    interested in currently has septic or has recently connected to the sewer, make
    sure you ask if there is a remaining, unpaid, sewer betterment, as you may
    become responsible for that remaining balance.

House hunting can
be a lot of fun, if you've done your homework. Work with a qualified agent and
remember to ask the right questions! With more and more people entering the
market, and inventory scarce, it's important to act quickly. These tips can help
save you time and ultimately get you into your dream home more quickly rapidly.
Happy Hunting!



Reprinted with
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