If you’re a first time home buyer, you may not have a lot of experience with real estate. Unfortunately there are so many real estate myths out there that may frighten people away from buying a home or cause buyers to make choices that are not in their best interest. Here are some of the most common real estate myths and the truth behind them.
You Need 20% Down Payment
While it may have been true at one time, and it’s a good idea to try to get 20% for your down payment, it is no longer required for home buyers. You do not need 20% of the total cost of the home you are purchasing to qualify for a mortgage to purchase your home. Real estate myths like this one cause many to shy away from purchasing a home because 20% is unattainable due to student loans and most people are just now bouncing back from the recession. Fortunately for those that can not come up with 20%, there are mortgage programs that require a fraction of that amount. For example, FHA loans only require a buyer to put down 3.5% of the purchase price. There are also many conventional mortgages that only require 5% down payment. Our blog, Hidden Costs Of Buying A Home discusses the upfront costs such as the down payment that are required when purchasing a home. Be prepared and check it out!
The Internet Replaces A Real Estate Agent
With real estate search engines, Google and banks all online at your fingertips, why do you need an agent? The phrase “you can’t believe everything you read on the internet” is the first thing that comes to mind. There is plenty of information on the internet that is incorrect, and when dealing with what could be the biggest purchase of your life, you want to make sure you know what you’re doing and getting the correct information. While it may be tempting to cut a real estate agent’s commission from your expenses, it is not in your best interest.
Let’s set the record straight, a real estate agent’s commission is not being paid by you, it is coming out of the purchase price of the home. Therefore, it is the seller that is giving up a portion of their profit to pay for your real estate agent. Hiring a real estate agent to represent you is getting free expert advice. When in life do you get that opportunity? A real estate agent has experience in negotiating to get the best price, let you know when a home is a good deal and when you should walk away.
Real Estate Agents Are All The Same
Many people believe that a real estate agent is like any other real estate agent, and just choose one because there is no difference. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your real estate agent is your expert in real estate that will guide you through this huge decision and often stressful process. So what do you do? This is where having the internet at your fingertips comes in handy. Research real estate agents that are in the area that you are looking to buy. It is easy to check out their history & client testimonials online (if you’re looking for an agent to help you with the purchase of an Ocean Edge condo in Brewster, take a look at Michael Leighton’s testimonials). Another great idea is to ask family and friends that have recently performed real estate transactions to see who they used and whether they would recommend them. Having a qualified and professional real estate agent makes all the difference in the world when buying real estate. Check out our blog 5 Reasons to be Thankful for a Great Real Estate Agent.
Open Houses Are A Waste Of Time
With the internet, social media and real estate magazines everywhere, this is one of the real estate myths that could seem to be true. Real estate search engines offer plenty of pictures, virtual tours and YouTube videos so it seems as though making the time to stop at open houses would be a waste of time. However, if there is a house that could appeal to you, take the chance and visit the open house. Some homes do not photograph well, when they are really a good solid home. At the same time, others photograph really well and have all sorts of problems that the pictures try to disguise. Open houses usually take place over the weekend, so if there is a home you are interested in, see when their open house is scheduled and take a look!
Spring Is The Only Time To Buy A House
Since the beginning of time, it was believed that the spring time was the only time to sell a home. This was because it was mostly young families buying houses. Families with young children would buy houses in the spring so they could close on the house and relocate before their young children started school in the fall. However, times have changed in the last 10 years or so. There are different demographics buying homes now, and with internet search engines at our fingertips, it has dramatically changed the real estate market.
Millennials are buying year round because they are constantly on their phones looking for the best deal throughout the year. Since people are having children later in life, these young adults do not have a time frame that they need to stick to in order to buy their home. Empty nesters are adults who are looking to downsize from their large family houses once their children have left home. They are also a new demographic that are looking for homes without the spring time deadline because their kids are all grown up. More homeowners are aware of these new populations buying homes, so they are putting their homes on the market at different times of year. This is good news for buyers and sellers. You no longer have to wait for the spring to see the best home inventory. Ever consider purchasing a condominium? Check out our blog 5 Reasons to Buy a Condo At Ocean Edge
Real Estate Myths Debunked!
Whether it be from friends, television, the movies or misinformation, we are all exposed to real estate myths. It’s important that as real estate buyers, you do your homework to sort out what is true and what is a real estate myth. The best way to navigate purchasing a home is by enlisting the help of a reputable and knowledgeable real estate agent. Michael Leighton has been the #1 Sales Agent for Ocean Edge since 2004 and the #1 Brewster Agent since 2007.