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Searching for a new home is an exciting prospect, but for many buyers, it’s a roller coaster ride. There are often highs and lows and twists and turns to negotiate before you get the keys. In this guide, we’ll highlight some common problems that can derail a new property search and share advice to take the stress out of the process.
It’s no secret that buying a house has become more difficult due to rising prices and an increase in the demand for affordable housing. Many buyers find that they hit a hurdle because their budget doesn’t stretch far enough. Whether you’re looking for your first home, you’re searching for an investment property, or you’re looking to sell your house and relocate, it’s beneficial to set a budget before you start browsing listings or contacting real estate agents.
Be realistic about what you can afford and filter results. If you’re struggling to find anything that fits within the right price range, you may have to compromise. You could consider expanding your search area, looking at different types of properties and making sacrifices in terms of space or size, for example.
The demand for housing has increased in recent years and properties are selling quickly. A rise in the demand for real estate drives prices up and it also means that more buyers find themselves in a position where they have to compete with others. If there are already offers on the table when you view a property, or there are other parties interested, you may need to think about how to win a bidding war on a house.
You could increase your offer, pay cash, adjust your contingency requirements or waive the inspection, for example. Before you act, think carefully about whether you want to commit to a higher offer or forgo elements of the original offer, which could be risky. It’s essential to ensure that you are 100% sure before you proceed. It’s also crucial for buyers and investors to be aware of the value of properties. If you buy at the top, it’s more difficult to make a profit, especially if the demand has already peaked.
Surveys suggest that almost 90% of buyers have a home inspection before closing. Home inspections are designed to flag issues that relate to the condition of the building and they provide valuable information for prospective buyers. If you have a home inspection contingency, you can arrange an inspection and negotiate terms based on the findings. You might decide to cancel the contract, review your offer or ask the vendor to cover the cost of repairs. If the inspection highlights major issues, which are expensive to remedy, this might put you off, especially if the property was at the top of your budget.
Circumstances may change and some sellers may decide that they can’t proceed with a sale. This may be due to their financial situation or their relationship status or they might decide to stay in their home for longer or postpone the sale. During the early stages, there is no legal agreement that requires the vendor to sell the property to the buyer. Until contracts have been exchanged and both parties have reached an agreement, either party can back away. As a buyer, it’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing if you find a home that you love and the seller then withdraws it from the market, but there’s nothing you can do if you haven’t reached the point where the vendor is obliged to go ahead.
If your financial situation changes, you may have to rethink buying a house or modify your budget. If you lose your job, for example, or a lender withdraws your mortgage offer, you might decide to wait a bit longer to start your search or look for a cheaper house or apartment. Before you agree to buy a house, it’s critical to make sure that you can afford to take out a loan and pay it back. If you’re already under pressure and your bills are going to increase once you’ve taken out a mortgage, consider looking for properties that cost less to reduce the amount you need to borrow. You don’t want to be under financial stress or worry about losing your home because you can’t keep up with the repayments.
Searching for a new home is exciting, but it can also be extremely stressful, especially if things don’t go to plan. There are many obstacles that can make finding a new house challenging, including high prices, interest from other buyers and red flags in a home inspection report. Changes in your financial situation and sellers taking the property off the market can also throw a spanner in the works.
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