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Tips for Buying a Home in a Slow Real Estate Market

Feb 27, 2008
Many buyers believe that because the market is slow, it is theirs to do with as they wish.

This is true in some ways because there will be a lot of properties for sale in a slow market. Because there are more properties than buyers, there will rarely be multiple offers on the same home. Sellers will also be offering very low asking prices because of the number of choices available to buyers.

No seller will pay more than they need to when a comparable house is selling down the block for thousands less. However, although a slow market is an advantage for buyers, there are still precautions that need to be taken to ensure that the buyer is getting the home that will serve them well.

Even in a slow market, it is important to remember that the lowest priced house should not always be the house that is bought. Professional contractors, such as home inspectors, should be hired to take a thorough look at the property.

These contractors will be able to provide the buyer with a good idea of what repairs will need to be done and how much those repairs are going to cost. The inspector should also be able to provide information on what will be problematic in the future.

If there is something that is not a problem at the time of purchase but will be one or two years down the road, the buyer should be made aware of that so that the house does not cost them more than it needs to in the end.

Renovations, especially those done by first-time homebuyers or those that have no renovating experience, can be very costly. Not only is there the cost of hiring a contractor to complete the work but there can also be city codes, and unexpected problems that come up during big renovations.

If there are major renovations to be done, a buyer may want to steer clear of that property during their house hunt simply because it may end up costing more than the home is worth. It is very important to look at major problems that can nt be fixed to determine whether or not that is the right house for the buyer.

Although a slow market is a buyer's market, it is important to remember that there is some risk associated with buying in a slow market. The biggest risk is that the value of the home may decrease before it starts to increase again.

Just as bad, the market value could remain the same and therefore, the buyer will not begin to build equity in their home quite as quickly. It is also important to remember not to buy in a slow market if you are not planning on staying in the home for a long time. Buying a home only to have to sell it a short time later will only make your home one more in the already overcrowded market.

A buyer still needs to be very cautious in their financing options. It may be tempting to go with a mortgage that has short due dates with big payments but this will prove to be unwise if the market stays slow for a prolonged period of time.

It will cause the buyer to need to refinance their home at a time when the market is still slow and therefore, they will not receive a beneficial appraisal of their home.

Buying in a slow market is still a major decision and all the aspects of buying when the market is good still need to be taken into careful consideration.
About the Author
Paige Martin is award winning Houston realtor. Her website features 500+ pages of data and lists all Houston Condoss for sale. Get free Houston Relocation info. Paige is a member of the Houston, Texas, and National Assoc of Realtors. Paige Martin, Martha Turner Properties.
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