Super MLS
Community TypesNationwide ListingsTop RealtorsHome BuyingHome Buying
Home Buying Tips
Use our articles to help guide you when buying a home. Purchasing a home can be complex, read through our tips and guidelines in order to make your buying process as smooth as possible.
First Time Home Buyers

Buying Checklist

Making the Right Offer

New vs. Old: What is the best Investment?

First Time Home Buyers
Before starting your home research decide if owning a home now is the right decision for you. This usually involves getting pre-approved and deciding a price range based on affordability. Once youíve made the decision to purchase a home then start your research online. Know what you want. What are the amenities you canít live without? Narrow your parameters: location, type of home, price range, family-friendly conditions and other criteria. Before you contact a real estate agent you should have most of your basic criteria decided.

Your real estate agent should be able to anticipate what you are looking for and help narrow down the listings according to your criteria. This prevents brain overload. Before deciding to view a home most likely you have already seen many properties online. Itís difficult to make a decision if youíve viewed and walked through 50 homes in a short amount of time. If youíve seen too many properties the likelihood of remembering specific details diminishes and increases your buying time length.

Once youíve narrowed down your selection this is when you review your top choices and do another walk through. It might help to write out the pros and cons and compare after your second walk through. This will help keep you organized and make a final decision.

Buying Checklist
Once youíve decided that you are interested in buying a home or other property type review this checklist.

Before you Get Started
Before going out and looking at homes research online first to find basic the criteria for what you are looking for in a home. Base your criteria on square footage, location, schools, baths, bedrooms etc.

Real Estate Agent
The next step is to find a good real estate agent in your area. A good Realtor should anticipate and listen to what exactly you are looking for. An agent should not waste your time on showing properties that are not based on your criteria. The most important aspect of an agentís job is negotiating an offer that fits in your budget and able to get you the house.

Lender and Mortgage Options
Finding a good lender is just as important as a Realtor. A lender should discuss different mortgage options, rates, and explain thoroughly what each loan type entails. There are different types of mortgage options such as: FHA (Federal Housing Admission), interest only loans, and adjustable arms. This is were a good lender or mortgage broker helps to guide you on what is the best mortgage option for you financially; depending on interest rates, insurance, and amortization.

Putting In an Offer
According to the type of real estate market there are going to be different offer procedures. This is when your real estate agent's negotiation skills are necessary with knowing how much to offer above or below listings price, when to counter, and earnest money.

Home Inspection:
This is a must before buying a home. If there are any problems the home inspector finds the listings price can be lowered or the seller can pay to have the repairs done. Leaky windows, cracked foundations, proper plumbing, and electricity are some of the things that are very costly to change when initially buying a home.

Making the Right Offer
Buyers often face the dilemma of how much should they offer? Offering too little might offend the seller and you risk loosing the house. At the same time you donít want your offer to exceed the real value of the home and overpay. This is where an experienced real estate agent would help steer you in the right direction.

Too Little
The risk of offering at a lower price or low balling might insult or offend the sellers and they will not accept anymore of your offers. If it is a competitive market or the home is listed at a good price you risk other buyers extending an offer and outbidding you. Youíve lost the chance of buying that home.

Listing Price
When you pay the listing price of a home this may cause you to hesitate and think did I pay too much? There are tight housing markets where buyers pay the listing price or over the listing price due to what is available. Research your current real estate market before buying a home. Also, be cautious if your Realtor is representing you the buyer and the seller. It might create a conflict of interest since your agent would receive commission from you and the seller. Make sure your agent has your best interests.

Making the offer is ultimately the buyer's decision. Your realtor can advise you on the type of market, real value of the home, if there are multiple offers in progress, and the seller's time frame on when he or she has to move. You are your strongest resource. As a buyer you know what you can afford and you have your best interest in mind.

New vs. Old: What is the Best Investment?
View tips below about the pros and cons for buying an old home vs. a new one. Be able to make an informed decision on what house type is best for your budget.

Old Homes
Pros: Old homes are generally found on larger lots because in the past land was cheaper, in today's time the value of land is much higher therefore smaller lot sizes. Many craftsman style houses were built with great attention to detail, adding more character than a track home. This might be appealing because it offers a unique look and rather than a cookie cutter appearance of a track home. Also, the neighborhoods are more established which decreases the chance of re-zoning or building non-residential properties.

Cons: One of the biggest drawbacks is maintenance and repairs. It can get expensive to replace wiring, plumbing, foundation problems, and updating appliances. The listing price might be lower than a new home, but the amount of money for updates might exceed your budget. Another downside is the amount of storage space available. Unless the house has been updated recently, the amount of closet and storage space is very limited Ė no walk-in closets. Besides closet space, the average size of an older home, excluding ranches and estates, are smaller in square footage than a newer home.

New Homes
Pros: New homes follow strict builder regulations and codes that focus on homeowner safety. There are more amenities such as master suites, designated laundry rooms, half baths, and air conditioning. Modern appliances are included; usually builders incorporate appliances in the home design where as older homes may not have built-in dishwashers or a space made for a refrigerator. The home size and square footage tends to be larger than an old home due to building up for small lots. Clearly the maintenance on a new home is less and also offers more efficiency with electricity, gas, and water.

Cons: Unfortunately, newer homes have a cookie cutter feel and almost look identical to other track homes. Most track style homes have 1-3 different floor plans and outside curb appeal. There isnít a lot of variety in appearance, floor plan, and landscaping. For a brand new home there might be minimal landscaping or even dirt in the backyard. Landscaping costs can get expensive. In an older home landscaping is more prevalent due to the length of time, causing trees, plants and flowers time to mature. As urban sprawl increases so does your commuting time. Older homes were designed to be closer to downtown or a major city.

Home Selling Tools
Mortgage Calculator
Num. of Months: *
Interest Rate: %
Principal: $
Monthly Payment
(Principal + Interest)
Find Top Realtors
Find a local real estate agent specialized in servicing buyers & sellers.
Metro Area Houses for Sale Atlanta : Austin : Boston : Chicago : Dallas : Denver : Detroit : Houston : Las Vegas : Long Island
Los Angeles : Memphis : Miami : New York City : Orange County : Palm Beach : Sacramento : San Diego : Seattle :
State Search California : Florida : Illinois : Pennsylvania : New York : South Carolina : North Carolina : Nevada : View All States
SuperMLS Site Map : About Us : Contact Us