May 28, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

When is a good time to buy?

Most buyers tend to purchase during spring and summer months but do not realize that the purchase of real estate continues into the fall and winter. Many more opportunities exist during these months when you are not competing with a high volume of buyers who can sometimes drive up the price or induce bidding wars. During colder months sellers tend to be more negotiable and there are better opportunities. In addition, should you plan on doing any work, contractors facing end-of-the-year cold weather slowdowns are more open to negotiation. By the time you conclude your purchase you have the opportunity of really enjoying the spring and summer months in your new home and garden. For those of you who are buying for investment purposes, you can get the house ready to rent or sell in time for the warmer season. Either way it is a great opportunity for buyers and sellers to know that they are getting more serious buyers instead of just lookers. Purchases are ongoing and no longer seasonal.

Should I overlook a cluttered or old looking home?

Sometimes a home can look old and worn or has furniture that is unappealing, making it hard for you to imagine yourself living there. While realtors often urge sellers to de-clutter, it is not always possible for a homeowner to comply. However, this can work to your advantage by getting the house at a more competitive price. Painting and refinishing floors does not cost that much money and in most cases you would need to paint most of the homes you purchase. The important thing is the amount of space you have to live in and what you can work with.

For instance, if a house already has central air and/or multi-zone heating system or French drains, these are great features and an expense you do not have to take on. Don’t forget that once the seller moves out, so does their unappealing furniture. And once you put in your belongings, it will look like a completely different home.

Updating a bathroom or two is not the end of the world either. In order to get homes within a limited budget, buyers need to be a bit more open to doing some work. If you are able to purchase a home at the low end in a desirable community, then any updates you put into the house will give you a great return while enjoying the benefits of your personal decoration.

You should always look for a home that has a large interior space. Some homes may be missing a master bath, but if there is room to build out or you can use interior space, that is always an advantage to your investment. Try to look beyond the mess when looking at some of the homes. Remember that the newer looking homes can fetch top dollar, but utilizing a little bit of TLC and imagination can give you the better buy.

How do I go about making an offer?

If you really like a home you should not hesitate to make an offer. If you are working with a realtor, s/he should be able to give you some history of the home, the year it was built and some updates that were made. In addition, your rRealtor should tell you what similar homes sold for and compare different features that they may have in common to the one you are considering. Make sure the agent you are working with is active in the business, has a good reputation and has a proven sales record. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. This is an important purchase. There are new or part-time agents that may not know the market. Ask questions and see if the agent is able to respond easily or takes the time to get you the right answer as opposed to brushing you off. You do not want to overpay for a home because the agent iss inexperienced in negotiating skills. You want an agent that has your back and will look out for you during the purchase.

For example, my clients can count on me during and after the purchase. You should not assume that you will get huge reductions during the inspection of the house. It is always best to try and get the best possible price during negotiations and acceptance of your offer relative to market conditions. There are some great opportunities for purchase and mortgage rates are still low. In addition to the many benefits of owning a home, real estate still gives you the best investment and rate of return.

Nicole Idler is a NJ/NY Associate Broker of Friedberg Properties and actively lists, sells & rents in all of Bergen County. E-mail her with your questions or for all your real estate needs! at [email protected] or call 201-906-9338 or 201-894-1234. Call Nicole & make home ownership a reality!! Free Confidential Consultation.

By Nicole Idler

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