Facts About Buying a Home

On your quest to purchase a home, you will find that everyone has an opinion and some little tidbit of information to share with you. Your best bet is to do your own research and ask lots of questions. If you have questions, make sure you find an answer, preferably from a reliable source (not your neighbor's cousin who just sold his home back in Omaha). 

There is a lot to learn about real estate and owning a home. Here are some pieces of information that will help you be better prepared: 

  • Everything will vary. You'll find that there aren't many tried, true, and trusted facts about the home buying and home selling process. Every homebuyer and home seller’s experience varies wildly. One person may sell his home in the first week it is on the market; it may take another person six months. One person may feel an adjustable mortgage is the only way to finance. Another person may say it's insane to gamble like that and insist on a fixed-rate mortgage. Everything varies according to your situation and what you want.


  • Everything will change. Laws about what tax benefits you get, laws about what the seller must tell you, and real estate practices can change at any time.


  • There is no perfect time to buy. Some buyers get caught in the "I'll wait until I can afford my dream home" trap. These buyers wait and wait until they think the market is perfect, they find the home they've always wanted, or they can afford the home they've always wanted. Unless you have a compelling reason to wait, you shouldn't. The perfect market, perfect home, or perfect price may not come along. Buy what you can afford and then trade up. Or buy something close to what you want and remodel. One of the biggest advantages when shopping for a home is to see the so-called "diamond in the rough." If you can look beyond the tiger wallpaper and the black velvet drapes, you can see the real potential of a property.


  • Almost everything is negotiable. From the price you pay for the home to the date you can move in, negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. When you make an offer, you can and should ask for the moon if that's what you want.


  • Negotiate to win-win. A lot of people think that a successful deal happens only when they impose their will on another and get their way entirely (a win-lose situation). The best deals, though, are when both negotiating parties are happy (a win-win situation). If you buy a home at the price you want and the terms you want, and the sellers also get the price they want at acceptable terms, you both benefit.


  • The little-known physics “Law of Expanding Possessions”. If you're moving from a small home to a larger home, be prepared for the “Law of Expanding Possessions”. Physicists have yet to understand what causes this phenomenon, which simply stated says, "If you have a two-bedroom home full of junk and move to a four-bedroom home, you will have a four-bedroom home full of junk."