First-Time Home Buyers: What You Should Consider Before Making an Offer


A lot of first-time home buyers get in over their heads.  They fall in love with a home before doing any research and end up signing on the dotted line with a home that is too expensive, needs more work than they expected, and are driving longer then they had expected to work each day.  There is a lot to think about when buying a home, three main issues being the offer price, the condition of the home, and location. 

Offer Price:

The offer of the home should be based on more than that it is comparable with other homes on the market. A home’s asking price is the price that is set before an appraisal has been done.  In reality an offer should than only be based on comparable houses in the area that have already closed and not by what others in the area are asking for their homes. 

 The Homes Condition:

When you are pricing out home repairs don’t automatically assume that they will be up into the thousands of dollars.  Also, don’t assume that you can take the cost of repairs off the offer price of a home as some sellers have already adjusted the asking price to consider these repairs. 

Location of the Home:

The area in which the home is located has a lot to do with the price at which the house will sell for.  Consider the location of the home for a number of reasons including how close it is to work and school but also be aware of the physical location.  See if there are train tracks close or it is in a high traffic area, those things will affect the resale value when go to sell.  Consider if granite counter tops and an additional bathroom are worth the inconvenience of a commuter train coming through the backyard every day.

Now-a-days with the internet there is a lot more information available in real time to both realtors and first-time home buyers.  It is important to keep in mind that not all of the information on the internet will be accurate, but it is a starting point.

Some websites offer free estimates to value your home.  They make a lot of assumptions about the value of properties in a neighborhood based on other homes that have sold but for homes that are non-conforming these can be inaccurate.  Consider these to be generalities and not substitutes for the research a realtor provider or an appraisal gives.

C21 Lady of the Lakes is a full-service realtor serving Livingston County and the surrounding areas with all their real estate needs.  More information can be found at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com/.