4 Tips on buying a home this year

Navigating the purchase of a home has historically involved many things as it is one of the largest purchases that one will typically make. This year some things have changed so even if you have bought a property before, you may need to double check a few things. Here are some tips if you are looking to purchase real estate this year.

Check if new tax codes affect you
With the new year came a new tax code. Even though the buzz has stirred up some concern by buyers, the reality is it won’t affect nearly as many as we had thought. For example, this year homeowners can deduct mortgage interest on home loans up to $750,000. That is down from $1million from before. Before you get discouraged, consider all of the facts first.

Prepare for competition
Prices have been rising, but inventory has not been increasing. The landscape for buyers is one that is most certainly competitive. However, in some areas and in some price points things are a bit more normal in terms of level of activity. For those in a high demand market, there are some things you can consider to give yourself an edge.

For example, some buyers are doing things like offering cash when possible while others are including personal notes about themselves with offers to make them more emotionally appealing. Additionally, questioning sellers about their goals are can be another option. Should having a flexible closing date be of interest to them, that can be a way to be the perfect buyer in their eyes.

Consider a fixer-upper
There is usually a strong demand and more competition for the homes that are renovated and move-in ready. Consider making this your advantage and look to buy a fixer upper or a home that is in need of some key renovations. Just be smart about these options and make sure you purchase the home a good enough price that the cost of renovations doesn’t exceed the current market value when the work is completed. Bringing your contractor to view the home in consideration is a wise idea so that you can make the best offer.

Don’t fall for staging
Staging homes has become more and more popular recently. Whether it is adding in some core pieces of furniture, hanging wall art, storing clutter or removing personal items, it all can make a home appear more accommodating or even larger. In a recent survey by NAR, nearly one third of buyers were more willing to overlook property faults in a staged home.

While a staged home can help you visualize yourself living in it better, don’t forget the basics. For example, beautifully hung wall art may make a room look really nice, but don’t forget to check for wall cracks that may need some attention.