Home-Buying Advice Worth Sharing

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‘The Best Home-Buying Advice I’ve Heard, Ever’

If you’re house hunting, you’re probably getting snowed with advice from well-meaning friends and family members on which neighborhoods are hot, how so-and-so is selling a place you have to see … and plenty more. That’s all fine if you have an insatiable appetite for info, but what if you’re a bit more discerning about the tips and tricks you want delivered your way?

We asked home buyers and real estate agents to share not just any old advice, but the very best home buying advice they’ve ever heard. These tips can help you save money, keep you from losing money, and stop you from making a real estate purchase you regret. So, pay attention, dear home buyers!

Buy less house than you can afford … just in case

“Growing up, my parents bought several homes, and one of the lessons my mother, a civil service worker and longtime beautician, instilled in me was never to buy more house than you can afford.”—Carol, homeowner

Don’t forget about maintenance costs

“The size of the property, as well as the age of the home, will impact your budget for annual maintenance and repair costs, but you can ballpark about 1% to 4% of the purchase price. Ask the sellers what they pay to get a better ballpark, and don’t neglect those tasks. Not performing small tasks around the home can increase energy costs and is likely to lead to expensive repairs if appliances and materials are not properly maintained.” —John, real estate agent

Explore mortgage options beyond the usual 30-year loan

“While a 30-year mortgage with a fixed interest rate is great for many home buyers, it isn’t for everybody. A mortgage lender gave me the great advice to deviate from the standard 30-year mortgage and look into a 15-year mortgage. I heeded the advice and saved thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. Best financial decision of my life.” —Adorn, homeowner

Leave the kids at home when you house hunt

“The last thing any home buyer with kids would want is for their child to fall in love with a home that may not be ‘the one’ for some reason. Only when you have narrowed your search down to the one home you want to buy should you bring your kids in and ask what they think.”—Adam, real estate agent

Visit the house at different times of the day

“Always drive through a neighborhood at different times of the day and night before purchasing a home. A neighborhood that is quiet and peaceful during the day may have an entirely different atmosphere at night. And if you can, try to drive through a neighborhood during different types of weather; you may find that beautiful yard turns into a lake when rains are heavy, or that all the snow or leaves end up at the end of a hill … and in your yard.” —Tangela, homeowner

Check for any upcoming construction in the area

“Check for any planned construction in the area before you make an offer. More buildings or houses could add traffic and noise, or possibly even block a great view. Just keep in mind that construction isn’t always bad; it also might bring new amenities and signal that the area is becoming more desirable, potentially increasing your home’s value.” —Gannon, real estate agent,

Money isn’t everything with an offer

“The best advice I’ve ever heard—and given—is that the highest offer doesn’t always win. For example, a lower offer might still look appealing if you promise a high earnest money deposit, or you don’t have a contingency to sell an existing house or secure financing.” —Cornelius, real estate agent,

For the complete article on Realtor.com, click here.