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Real Estate Investing

Buying a Home?

Tips On How To Make a Smart Real Estate Investment.

Almost everyone can picture their dream home down to the potting shed and white picket fence or twenty

acres on a quiet country road. That’s the emotional side of the home buying equation and is probably what

will lead you to the want ads and Sunday drives in the country “just to look around”.

Before you take that first emotional step into the home buying process you need to pay close attention to

the business side of this important family investment. The more you prepare yourself and know what to

expect, the less stressful and more enjoyable the whole home buying experience will be.

Avoid the “impulse” trap! Decide what features you WANT and what features you HAVE


· Type of home (i.e. condo, townhouse, duplex, single family dwelling).

· Single level or multiple level home – may depend on mobility issues or small children.

· Number of bathrooms and bedrooms – plan ahead, do you need room for an expanding family?

· Proximity to schools, work or leisure activities – of more importance if transportation is an issue.

· Privacy of yard – provides a secure place fo r children (or Rover) to play and prevents the

neighbors from looking right into your pool or hot tub.

· Layout of kitchen – close & cozy for convenience or large & roomy for big family dinners.

· Location of bedrooms in relation to more active areas of the house – keep in mind that small

children are usually early birds and teens are often night owls, you might have a happier home if

the two are kept separate.

· Parking availability for your vehicles (including any recreation vehicles you may have) and also

those of friends or family who will be coming to visit,

· Other features such as fireplace, fenced yard, and natural lighting

Check out the neighborhood – does it suit your lifestyle?

· Housing density – do you need a home where the buffalo roam? Or do you like to see your

neighbors across the backyard fence?

· Type of neighbours – will you fit into a retirement community or a neighborhood with young

families? This detail is almost as important as the home itself!

· Future construction or development in the neighbourhood – are they building a mall or apartment

complex down the road? It may affect property values in the future, and think of the noise and

traffic, is it worth it?

· Future trends in the neighbourhood - is the value going to increase or decrease according to the

nature of the growing or declining neighbourhood? Your real estate agent should be able to advise


· Crime rate – check out the neighborhood with local law enforcement agencies.

· Traffic patterns – is it a busy road, a major connector or a slower dead end street? Spend some

time on the street and see traffic use for yourself

Assess your financial situation - visit your lender before you start looking and get details on your

“borrowing” situation.

· Confirm that your lender will be willing to loan you the money. You can even get “pre-approved”

or “pre-qualified” for a maximum amount and that will help to convince the seller of your dream

home that you are a serious buyer and not just a looky-loo.

· Define your price range – you don’t want to waste time looking at homes you can’t afford. Take

note: you may not want to borrow the full amount your lender is willing to lend you. Some people

prefer to enjoy a carefree lifestyle rather than being “house poor” and burdened with a maximum


· Lenders usually want to lend you the money and will help you be creative with your income,

finding money you didn’t think you had and figuring out how much you need for a down payment.

· When assessing your financial situation, you may want to consider consolidating some of your

other debts (car loans, credit card debt, etc). Your lender can advise you.

· Is this your first home? First time homebuyers sometime get deals or breaks on some costs that

previous homeowners do not. Check with your real estate agent or your lender for more


Expect the unexpected– you’ll need more than just the down payment to close the deal!

Do you have enough “extra” money to cover unexpected costs? This often-overlooked detail has sunk

many a good deal. Consider arranging a line of credit if you don’t already have one. It will give you

the peace of mind that you can afford any unexpected expenses when they come up. A Buyers Agent

can alert you to expenses associated with buying your home that go beyond the down payment:

· sales tax (if it is a new house)

· appliances

· property taxes

· cost for property survey and building inspection

· house insurance

· additional life insurance

· lawyer/notary fees

· appraisal & inspection fees (maybe, this is negotiable)

· government fees

· home warranty fees

· condo fees

· loan fees

(See our Special Report on “Buyers Closing Costs” for more detailed information)

You will need to finance any renovations you want to do when you move in and any additional furniture

you will need to properly furnish your new home. Experience indicates the more money you have on hand,

the better. Your real estate agent will be able to help you estimate all those costs.

Tips for the trenches - how to find your dream home without losing your shirt.

1. You’re not an expert, do you want one to help you? Consider getting a real estate agent, known

as a “Buyers Agent”, to assist you. This definitely makes your searching more efficient and may

not cost you, the buyer, anything. An agent will not only help you streamline your search for the

perfect home (finding homes that match your criteria, making appointments for viewing etc.) but

they will also help you navigate through the process of making offers and counter-offers and will

be there to make sure the closing goes through smoothly, including getting the house keys for you

(you’d be surprised how often this little detail gets overlooked!).

2. Do you have the time to “go it alone”? If you prefer to go house hunting without an agent

working for you, you will have to do a lot of homework to make sure you know what you can

expect for your price range, what a reasonable offer would be and what terms to include in your

offer. A mistake here can be costly.

3. Banks are not your only source of funds! Mortgage brokers can simplify things for you when

you’re searching for the right mortgage. This is anther instance when a “Buyers Agent” can offer

invaluable advice.

4. The “biggest and best” house on the block is not always the best investment! In general, most

real estate professionals will advise you not to buy the best house in the neighborhood. That’s

because a house will always be judged by its neighborhood and if you buy the “best” house then

the rest of the neighborhood is never good enough! Typically, the most modest house in the

neighborhood will afford the greatest return.

5. Look at homes IN YOUR PRICE RANGE! Don’t let your real estate agent or your curiosity

lead you into homes that you can’t afford. You will inevitably see something in a more expensive

home that you like and then may end up dissatisfied with the quality of home that fits your budget.

And you certainly don’t want to over extend yourself financially.

6. Don’t forget to keep the resale value in mind. Even though you haven’t moved in yet you

should keep the re-saleability of a potential home in mind. If it has peculiar features that you think

you can live with, others may not agree and it may prove to be more difficult to sell when it comes

time for you to move on. Your agent can give you invaluable advice here.

7. Don’t buy the first home that you see! Even if a house gets bought out from under you, don’t

despair; chances are that there will be other homes out there that will be just as suitable for you.

It’s a big decision so don’t feel pressured to jump before you’re ready.

8. Get an inspection. Any offer you make on a house should be contingent on a building inspection

by an inspector you choose yourself. It will not only make sure you know what you are buying,

but it will also help you make your purchase with confidence.

9. Do you need more life insurance? You will want to consider adjusting your life insurance when

you purchase your home. Many financial institutions will offer you life insurance on your

mortgage, which will cover the balance of your mortgage if anything should happen to you or your

partner. Howe ver this insurance only covers the cost of the remaining mortgage and once the

mortgage is paid off you’re left with nothing, which may be just what you want. But if you’re

looking for additional insurance to cover funeral costs or to help your family after you’re gone,

then you may want to opt for more standard life insurance, which does not increase in value as you

pay off your house but leaves you with a policy when all is said and done. Consult a professional.

10. Ask some one who has “been there”. Talk with friends or acquaintances that have recently

purchased a home. What did they go through? What advice can they offer to you? What would

they do differently the next time around?

In Conclusion:

Take your time and arm yourself with information. Buying a home is an emotional process as well as a

financial one. Be patient with the process and expect the unexpected or consult a Buyers Agent and work

with a professional who knows what to expect. The right attitude will help make buying a home an exciting

and pleasant experience.

Additional Information:

Here are some other Special Reports you may want to consider:

1. Buyer’s Agent – Do you need a Buyer’s Agent to buy a home? You bet!

2. Buyer’s Closing Costs - What will it really cost you to buy that home?

3. Buying Your First Home? – Money isn’t everything!

Web sites that may be useful to you:

4. http://www.homebuyerpower.com/powerful/index.asp

“Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home.” J. Howard Payne

Reprinted from Excalibur Reports

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Beaufort Realty Consultants

910 Charles Street
Beaufort, SC 29902
Phone: (843) 812-3487
Top Producing Agent 2009,
2011, and 2012


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We couldn't have asked for a better professional in the field then you. You always kept our best interested at the forefront from beginning to end in the process.And, no matter how difficult the situation became you made this a very happy experience for us. Debbie and Lou Lordi
Buying or Selling? Call Richard Neill today to see why his diligence & dedication have allowed him to be the only agent for us! Richard has handled our last three real estate transactions on St. Helena! His integrity and commitment equal success! With Richard, it's a Win-Win! Thanks Richard! Jon and Maggie Pomeroy
Mr. Richard Neill has exceeded all our expectations assisting with our home buying. He was very patient in showing us several properties. My wife knew exactly what she liked and Richard delivered. We were also pleased to make the purchase under appraised value. Richard expertise definitely paid off. Thanks Richard Marion and Trell Shepherd
" From our first face-to-face contact, I knew that we had found a knowledgeable and competent professional who would work diligently for us. For the next two months, Richard proved us right about him time and time again" Don and Elizabeth Creamer
“My home was on the market for over a year and a half... -Did not sell- Richard had it SOLD in less that 60 days in a very tough market. Thank you, Richard” Phillip Dean, Simpsonville SC
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