Some analysts say the rebound has begun and home prices may rise by the end of 2012. This means now may be buyers’ last chance to take advantage of affordable properties and low interest rates. If you want to score a bargain before the housing market recovers, you’ll need to follow a few rules to invest with certainty.
Rule 1: Position yourself for success
Before starting your search, get preapproved for a mortgage. Work with an experienced real estate agent who can help guide you through the daunting sea of foreclosures and short sales.
Rule 2: Do your research
Work with your agent to ensure the contract requires any delinquent taxes, liens or assessments will be paid prior to you taking ownership of the property.
Rule 3: Always get a home inspection
An inspector will visually examine the condition of the home’s roof, attic and insulation, foundation, basement and structural components, as well as interior plumbing and electrical systems. Be sure to find an ASHI-Certified Inspector (ACI) to ensure your inspector is experienced, as many states have minimal licensing requirements.
Rule 4: Budget for repairs
After receiving your inspection report, you can estimate costs associated with necessary repairs, maintenance or energy-efficient improvements.
Rule 5: Assess the neighborhood
Location should be a top consideration when purchasing real estate.