Andrew Wetzel's Musings

May 27, 2017

How to be a SERIOUS Buyer! Part 2 (of 7)

Filed under: Uncategorized — awetzel @ 3:06 PM

So, you have been pre-qualified by a reputable lender and determined how much money you want to spend on your house each month.  Congratulations!  That is fantastic!!!  This step alone will place you well above “many” buyers.  Not only are you ready to begin deciding what to search for BUT you are in a position to have a Seller know that you are SERIOUS when you make an offer on their house!  It should also give you some much needed “peace of mind” as compared to worrying about the financing.

Now comes the part that separates the SERIOUS Buyer from the “lookers”.  You need to determine the three key ingredients to any house search:  #1 is “where do you want to live” (LOCATION); #2 is what are the “must-have features” (also called “non-negotiable”); #3 is what are the “nice to have” features (in pricier areas you may have to swap these for location.  Keep in mind that you can always “improve” the house BUT the neighborhood/ location will NOT change!).

If you talk to any of my buyer-clients they will tell you that I preach that “you are buying the neighborhood“.  Some say you are buying a “lifestyle”.  Whether you plan to stay a short period of time OR plan to make every mortgage payment until there is no balance left, the location will do more to affect your lifestyle and “resale value” than anything else so this decision needs a great deal of attention.

Some Buyers know the area and have a very clear idea of where they want to live (many will focus on the school district).  This is great but now is the time to explore a little to see if you might be overlooking a great town somewhere.  I like to use a map to do my research.  Here is how it works:  you decide what “points of interest” must be considered as far as travel (for example:  where you work, where relatives and friends live, etc) and then you have to decide how far you are willing to drive on a regular basis.  The multiple listing service (MLS) offers a number of mapping/ driving tools for me to identify which properties will fit your geographic needs.  The bottom line is that, however you do it, you need to prioritize the list of areas that you will consider.  There are numerous other ways to create your list.  I only suggest that you take the time to get the list “right for you” as soon as possible and that you do so with an open mind.  There are many absolutely fabulous places to live that many will never experience!

Poor planning will waste your time.  Some buyers find houses they like but they can’t seem to commit to the location; others seem to keep adding or changing areas.  You can live anywhere you want and this is a REALLY serious “criteria” so please take the time and effort to determine location(s) before doing any other work.  This is especially true if you are moving a distance or to an area you know very little about.  Marriage and employment frequently make such a move necessary.

Next time:  features.  This can be really fun.  It is almost like building a house.

Thank you again for reading!

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