BOULDER – In Boulder County’s competitive real estate market, before you search for the house of your dreams it is critical to prepare yourself mentally as well as financially.
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions made during a lifetime, and this spring’s market, with too few homes for sale, rising prices and multiple offers on properties, adds to the already high pressure of home buying.
To keep your decisions sound, buyers need to balance being flexible with not compromising. For insight into that all-important balancing act, here are Realty Times five pitfalls to avoid when buying a home this spring:
Not seeing the possibilities
In a seller’s market, houses may not be prepped for sale as thoroughly as you might expect. Look beyond the smaller blemishes that you find unappealing. Old or unattractive carpet or paint can make a home look tired and worn out. Budget time and money to make cosmetic changes before you move in.
Giving up on your important needs
When making an expensive purchase, or when there are few homes for sale, it’s tempting to compromise on desired features. Before you start house hunting, define your needs and wants and prepare a checklist to refer to before making a decision. If you have determined you need a three-bedroom home, use your list to counter balance your emotions when you are swept away by a charming two-bedroom. While you love it today, you may regret it later if you compromise on something important. The best advice is to be flexible and consider the possibilities but stick to your list of non-negotiables.
Forgetting about tomorrow
A home needs to work for you today – and tomorrow. Consider your future plans and find a home that will serve you well for the next 10 years. It needs to have the right number of bedrooms and be in a location that will maintain its advantages. Of course, change happens and can happen quickly. But consider the neighborhood and potential future plans for the community and check these against your own future plans and desires.
Skipping the inspection
Even in a heated real estate market, inspections are critical and are typically required by the lender. The inspection validates the condition of the house. Knowing about potential upcoming repairs is critical to making a sound financial decision. Though it’s important to realize that in a competitive market, the seller is less likely to make repairs. However, some sellers may lower the price if the defects revealed are costly to fix.
Not working with a knowledgeable real estate agent
An expert real estate agent can help you identify properties right for you much faster – even finding homes that are not yet on the market but will be soon. In a heated real estate market, expert help in navigating the home buying process successfully is even more critical. Find an agent who knows the neighborhoods you prefer. It’s worth taking the time to interview agents to find the one best-suited to help you find the right home for you.
By Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder