Just Ask The BOARD

Buying Your Next Home: Tricks of The Trade

You are out there searching for a home, which can be a very frightening experience!! You will be making one of the most important decisions of your life financially. Plus, you will be making a decision that will affect you, and your family, for years to come. The Ulster County Board of REALTORS is here to help you feel more secure with this decision.

The American Homeowners Foundation has prepared a list of tips, which the Ulster County Board of REALTORS would like to share with you, in order to help you make the best home-buying decision possible.

  1. RESEARCH and then Research some more. You will need to learn everything you want to about home buying, financing, negotiations, inspections and real estate contracts.

  2. CHOOSE your REALTOR wisely. Look for a REALTOR you are comfortable with and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure that they are experienced in working with buyers, have your best interests in mind, and are knowledgeable about the area you are looking in. Remember, they are working to help YOU get the best deal possible and if you are not a skilled negotiator, your REALTOR has enormous experience with which to guide you.

  3. Look at your new home as an INVESTMENT. One of the primary ways that we as Americans save money is through home equity. Tax incentives and the ability to tap into your home equity make buying a home a very wise financial investment. Always be sure to try and buy your home in a neighborhood where home values are expected to appreciate. This will help you garner the highest return on your investment if you have to sell during a slow market.

  4. Carefully inspect the home. As stated before, research as much as possible about evaluating the condition of a home. If it has a major defect, avoid making an offer. Having a professional inspection done can save you a fortune later. If problems are uncovered during the inspection you might be able to get the asking price lowered to cover them. Get any problems in writing and have them dealt with before you close on the property.

  5. Research mortgage options. Before you make an offer on a house, research your options carefully. Get your paperwork together, and then find out what type of mortgage best suits your needs. Get rate quotes from at least three lenders, make a decision and try to get a loan commitment to lock in an interest rate. Learn about “points” and work with your REALTOR to decide the best option for you and your family.

  6. Watch interest rates. Experts recommend that you buy and sell real estate when interest rates are low. The lower the interest rates, the larger the mortgage. So, if the asking price sounds like to much for you to handle on the home you have fallen in love with, you might be pleasantly surprised that at the lower interest rates you can comfortably qualify.

Just Ask The BOARD

Second Time Around Getaway Homes

Getaway homes are quickly gaining importance in the current real estate market. As the world’s craziness pushes into our lives, we find that we need a place to “nest” and just plain getaway from it all. Owning a second home can be a wonderful investment. The stock market tends to go up and down, but real estate continues to remain that “bright, stable spot on the horizon” in regards to our countries economics.

EscapeHomes CEO Clark Thompson feels that the current climate represents a unique opportunity to purchase a second or vacation home. Thompson feels that,

Interest rates are low, and there are still a number of undiscovered places where the housing prices are a steal.”

Thompson feels that there are 10 great reasons why an individual should consider a smart investment in a second home.

  1. Buying a second home is like buying property in California in the 1970s. Vacation and second home prices are relatively low to where they are expected to be once the baby boomer generation begins to retire in force.

  2. Families who own second homes tend to take more vacations and relax more.

  3. Equity in your current home can help you purchase a retirement home.

  4. It’s a good idea to get a head start on retirement living. Your favorite location might be a lot more expensive in 10 to 15 years when 73 million baby boomers begin retiring.

  5. Owning a second home allows another mortgage interest write-off.

  6. Vacation, or second homes, is good for alleviating stress. Getting away from it all is good for the soul.

  7. A second home is a very wise way to spend your inheritance. Trillions of dollars are trickling down from the “saving generation” to the “spending generation.”

  8. More and more individuals are buying second homes close to golf courses, ski slopes, and the mountains in order to get more exercise.

  9. The stability of real estate value makes it a good choice to diversify the non= aggressive portion of your retirement portfolio.

  10. And lastly, a second or vacation home is a lot more fun to use than a stock certificate.

The Ulster County Board of REALTORS isn’t just working at selling homes, they are an intrical part of every community.