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Mike Thomas' Blog

By Mike Thomas | Agent in 75087
  • Things to consider while looking for houses

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Dallas County, Foreclosure in Dallas County, Rent vs Buy in Dallas County  |  July 29, 2011 9:07 AM  |  127 views  |  1 comment
     As a real estate agent I show a lot of homes.  Some are old and some are new, some are borrowed (leased) and some are blue (Sad condition).  I make that analogy to marriage because picking a house can be just as important as picking a spouse.  Is it going to fit your life style? Is it going to complement your wants and needs? Does it have the features that you want?  This place is going to help you create life long memories. The selection process is a large part of whether they will be good or bad memories. There are many important questions that you should be asking yourself before you actually start looking.

    1: Old vs new?  While houses are not quite like cars, they do occasionally devalue when you take them “off of the lot”.  Typically you will be able to get more square footage for your money when you buy a pre-loved house, but is that square footage usable and does the house feel that big. Open floor plans that are very popular today were not commonly built several years ago.  They actually designed houses so that each room was almost completely separate.  I have seen 3000 square foot houses that look smaller than new construction 1800 square foot houses. 

    2: Borrowing a home? Some people feel much safer leasing a house as opposed to buying one.  This can be a good choice if you are only going to be in an area for one year or less.  It can be nice that you don’t have to worry about maintenance on a house, but you are paying a huge premium for that comfort.  In north Texas, the average monthly rent on houses that have leased through the MLS is $1,129.  The average lease is 12 months.  So by using our friend math, it looks like you are going to spend $13,548 on rent in a year.  That is money that is going straight into someone else’s pocket and I can almost guarantee you that the owner’s mortgage payment is less than that.   Now, I understand that when you finance a property that you will be paying money to the bank in interest every month.  But wouldn’t you at least like to have some of your money actually working for you and not someone else?

    3: Something blue? Condition has probably more to do with a home than anything else.  The common expression is Location, Location, Location but I have seen people pick an area a little further away than intended because they can get a nicer house in a different city.  Some people buy a fixer upper with the intention of fixing it up.  You would be amazed how many of those projects are still on their to-do list when they decide to sell the property.  There is something to be said for move in ready. Another thing to consider is what you can’t see.  Energy efficient or GREEN features have only recently become popular in home building.  If a house is built with the right kind of features you would be amazed with the difference in your utility bills.  You can use that savings to pay more on your house, instead of literally throwing it into the air. 

     

    This is a lot to think about.  Perhaps the best decision that you can make in the buying process is to find a good Realtor early in the process.  A good agent can not only help you find houses that work for you, they can also educate you on features and amenities that are available in the market.  A full time agent literally does this every day.  We are not just for opening doors and writing contracts.  I am personally not a pushy salesman.  A good product sells itself. All I do is make you aware of what's out there and take you to see it.  Also, make sure your agent buys you lunch at least once while you're looking. 

     

    Thanks for reading!

    Let me know if I can help with anything.

 
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