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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

4 Key Questions Renters Must Ask Themselves Before Buying

Written by Posted On Thursday, 25 May 2017 21:23

1.  Will I live there in 3 years?

Renting has one advantage over buying - mobility. Otherwise you should be buying in most markets, but can you ask yourself if you'd want to be there 2 or 3 years from now.  In Atlanta real estate, the average person moves so often they think they may not want to be there.  Still even with Atlanta's unique growth and sprawl, the rent rates make it an almost given that you should be buying.  3 years is the number  that basically helps a home buyer break even with appreciation helping cover the initial costs.

2.  What's My Real Budget?

If you've been renting it makes sense to buy, but a lot of buyers just see what they can get vs what they can afford. It's very common to see first time home buyers end up "house poor" where they can't afford to furnish the home.  While quite possibly the worst way to buy all other items, using a monthly budget is ideal for real estate.   It's good to work on this monthly budget before talking to a loan officer for a pre-approval

3.  Will I use more than the internet to shop

Not shopping / interviewing is a (HUGE!!!) mistake that most buyers make (in fact, it is for most. According to an NAR Study, 85% of home buyers and sellers pick the very first agent they talk to). In addition, they often choose the first vendor they interact with, whether that's a real estate agent, attorney, inspector, the list goes on. It's so worth it to get good people. The same goes for picking a home.  

In addition, many home buyers use sites like Zillow that have one goal.  Traffic.  They convert this traffic into advertising dollars for real estate agents.  It doesn't matter whether a home sold or that their zestimate of is off by 20% or even if they are misrepresenting a listing.  It's worth it to use an agent here. 

4.  More Money Question

As in "do I have enough money to pay for the cost of purchasing (closing costs, appraisals, inspections)... and do I have enough to actually furnish the home?"  Going back to the house poor questions, but basically there is a cost to owning a home and there's a cost to decorating it.  If you're thinking of buying a home you should consider these costs.  That isn't to scare you but rather prepare you.  

If you can answer these questions confidently, then the only other question is where do you want to buy?  

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Joshua Jarvis

Joshua Jarvis is a 15 year veteran of real estate and runs his own real estate team, Jarvis Team Realty in Duluth, GA.  His team is routinely in the top 1% locally and top 2% nationwide with over 100 homes sold every year. A graduate of Georgia Tech, Joshua engineers systems for his team and clients alike.   Joshua love technology and is often asked to teach or speak on the subject of real estate SEO and digital marketing.

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