Monday, April 22, 2013

Guest Post--Why the Homebuyer Should Utilize Leverage in 2013

People around the nation spend countless hours, days and years working toward the goal of buying a home. It’s part of the American Dream. While people understand that it’s a big deal, the astronomical amount of money required to acquire property in 2013 is still under noticed by most.

This article is an appeal to potential homebuyers that it’s time to utilize leverage. If you are someone looking for a home, you shouldn’t take your own money for granted when you jump into the real estate market. Don’t let a listing fool you, as you are the one forking over the cash. The traditional real estate listing is an advertisement, and to really make a calculated decision, you have to look beyond it.

 With so much money and your personal life at stake, it’s imperative to pick the right home and make sure the features of the property are the level of quality you’re paying for.

Why Leverage?

In most real estate transactions, there are negotiations that naturally cause fluctuation in the asking price. If you are a homeowner, make sure when these negotiations start that you have the leverage. You are in control and you are the one spending money on the ballpark scale of $100,000. It’s so important to not let a real estate agent or a home owner bully you into a higher asking price. There’s always another house you can find that will suit your needs and demands.

Just remember that you are the consumer. You are the one that gets to pick and choose whether a particular property is your dream home. It’s not up to anyone else, and there’s no hurry.

A real estate listing can be deceiving on a number of levels. If you’re a searching for a house, just as you should try and use leverage in price negotiations, it’s important to do so in the property evaluation as well. For instance, you have the right to be curious when it comes to major components of a house. There shouldn’t be anything that isn’t accessible to your eyes when you’re deciding whether or not to buy a home. Some areas to focus on:

1.     Quality and condition of roof: A common housing feature that’s not promoted or discussed in a listing is the roof. The roof is very important to your life and the value of a house. Not only does it provide you shelter from weather, it also protects the entire structure of the home. A faulty roof can lead to irreversible water damage and major renovations.

Not only do you have the right to inspect the roof of a prospective house carefully, but you should make it a priority. With legitimate money on the table, it’s worth it with regards to personal comfort and future financial obligations.


2.     State of floor materials: Regardless of the type of floor material in the house you’re looking at, it’s vital to accurately gauge the upkeep of them. All or parts of the house could be carpet, marble, hardwood or tile. When you’re in the evaluation process, take a hard look at the floors. Does it look like the hardwood has been refinished recently? Is the marble floor in the kitchen stained? Is the carpet in the master bedroom damaged to the point of a possible replacement?

The floors are where you will be walking and living in your new house. Make sure you are more than comfortable with both the style and condition of the floor material throughout the property. This is another example of something that won’t be listed in the advertisement but is very important when comfort and money are concerned. An extensive flooring project in your house will tack on thousands of dollars to your already hefty investment.

3.     Sewer line condition: The sewer line is a feature of any property that often goes unnoticed. They are underappreciated and undervalued. It is common, however, for people to get the sewer line of a prospective house checked out before purchase. You need to make sure to do this. In addition, take note of any large trees or major landscaping that is anywhere near the sewer route. These can lead to major obstructions in the future and can end up costing you thousands of dollars.

In addition to a standard check on the sewer line, look for other factors that may come up in the future. Replacements are expensive, and the road near your house often has to be ripped up when a big problem needs to be fixed.

Buying a house is a big deal even if you find the perfect house and the dream situation. It’s important to focus on both the listing and the features that exist behind the scenes. While scanning a property and applying it to your personal needs and desires, remember that you are the consumer and you have the leverage. It can go a long way in negotiations.


Tim Richmond writes about the mortgage industry, real estate, green building, personal finance and home ownership. He currently writes for the Native American mortgage specialists 1st Tribal Lending.

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