Before you buy a house, call around and see if a local community agency offers a course on home ownership. If so, take it; you won’t regret it.
- Don’t allow yourself to be pressured by the seller or the real estate agent. Take your time. Make a list of the positive reasons for buying the house. Make a list of the negative reasons for buying the house. This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Don’t make it too quickly.
- An appraisal report tells you the market value of a property. Get your own certified appraiser to prepare an appraisal report for you. You should be able to get an appraisal report for about $175 and it’s worth it. Don’t simply accept the appraisal provided by the lender who gives you a mortgage. If you can’t afford an appraisal, go to the County Clerk’s Office and research what homes have been selling for in the neighborhood. Or call a real estate agent and ask what homes have been selling for in the neighborhood. In addition, your local librarian may be able to assist you in searching real estates values on the Internet. Don’t assume that the asking price is a good price.
- Get a home inspection. Find out ahead of time if the home needs repairs. Don’t find out that your roof leaks only after you have moved into the house. A home inspection may cost $225 but it’s worth it. If you can’t afford a home inspection, find a friend who has some construction knowledge to tour the house with you. Don’t simply accept the representations of the seller or real estate agent. They make money only if the home is sold.
- Do your own homework. No one will protect your interests but you.
- If the seller is holding the mortgage, make sure the interest rate is reasonable compared to the rate that the larger banks are charging.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Buying a home isn’t an every day experience. Bring a friend along.
- Use an attorney.
New York State’s Attorney Consumer Tips http://www.ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/home-buying-tips