March 17, 2011

Buying in 2011

“My oh my how the market has changed”

Market conditions are not a secret to anyone.  While stories, facts and figures may be dramatized a bit in the media; on a whole American’s have a fair understanding of where the Real Estate market stands.  If you plan on buying in 2011 there are factors that you must take into consideration before and during your home search regardless of what you hear on TV or read online.  When markets change, strategies change and we simply cannot buy with strategies used during the boom.

Know your purchasing power, don’t guess… KNOW.

A few years back purchasing power was basically up to you.  Banks where nudging you with their elbow in a crowded room asking,  “Hey you, you want to buy a house? How much do you need?”  Terms like “no-doc loans” and “stated income” flooded the market, buyers could simply tell the bank what they made without any form of proof and the loan would be approved!!  No proof of income!!  NONE!! ….I digress.

In today’s market we all know that lending practices have been restructured and loans are now as hard to obtain as a Harvard MBA; and because of this it is IMPERITVE that you get pre-approved prior to even logging onto  Find out what your true purchase power is, speak to a mortgage broker and learn where you stand as a purchaser before you become a buyer.

Knowing your true limit will protect you before during and after the home buying process.  Being knowledgeable and honest with yourself about your true purchase power will make the process much less stressful, as you will be able to negotiate faster without putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation.  By not overextending yourself due to passion and emotions, your future mortgage payments will always be in line with your predetermined plan.  In this day and age, planning for your financial future is as important as your health. 

Find a knowledgeable agent

Don’t just grab a friend or family member with a license and tell them you want to buy a house.  Choosing the right agent for your purchase is as vital as finding a home with a roof.  I could write analogy’s for days but the bottom line is that this is probably the largest purchase you’ll make, it’s not the time to put a transaction of that size in the hands of a friend just to spare their feelings.  I am not saying not to work with friends or family, just be sure they can provide the service you need and deserve.

A professional agent will provide continuous due diligence during the purchase process.  There is much more to being a buyer’s agent then simply opening a front door.  Working with a professional Realtor® will save you time, frustration and most importantly, money.   Ask your agent what kind of services they provide as a buyers agent, and what you can expect if you work with them exclusively.  

Give yourself time

Possibly the best Ying to the booms Yang for buyers is the amount of time you can take in today’s market to find your home.  There is truly no reason to feel rushed, unless of course you have personal issues, the market is allowing a bit more “tire kicking” time.  It’s been a bear for sellers and agents as transactions are reduced in return, but it is what it is, and as a buyer – you can take advantage.

It’s really never good to rush, it’s one of those motherly quotes you can remember as a child “don’t rush Ricky”. What happened to the market during the boom, what were all the buyers doing then? They were rushing, and they all have their bellyaches now, just like Mom promised.  We can slow down in 2011. We can analyze, and in turn, we then strategize.  By taking time to conduct our research we are better suited to negotiate, always insuring that our best interests are in hand.

2011 allows you as a buyer to purchase with bona fide care and knowledge.  It truly is a great time to buy.  This will ALWAYS be South Florida and people will continue to funnel here from across the country for centuries to come.  With the correct team and strategy in place there hasn’t been a better time to take advantage!