Home Buying Money-Saver: Plan for the Long Run

In an age of instant gratification, it may be hard to plan for the long-term when buying a house.

When signing a 30-year mortgage on a house, however, it can be a good idea to take your time. By considering certain details during the buying process, you may pay more up front, but save big bucks over time.


Using an Agent

Real estate agents often have an inside scoop on houses for sale, killer deals and an intimate knowledge of a community. Consumers might buy one or two homes in their entire lives. Real estate agents help buyers purchase homes every day.

Buying a home is a huge purchase. Why wouldn’t you want an expert on your side?

In most states, using a real estate agent doesn’t cost home buyers a thing. Sellers pay commissions to both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent from the proceeds of the home sale.

Home Inspections

Inspectors are trained to search for flaws in structure, termites and specific problems that you may not be able to see on the surface. Paying a couple hundred dollars can save you the time, stress and costs of hidden faults that reveal themselves after the mortgage is signed.

When you look at the top ten home inspection problems, you’ll see a list that includes:

  • Improper water drainage, which can lead to cracks and mold. Fixing the problem often requires re-grading the ground around the house or replacing gutters.
  • Improper wiring, which can lead to fire and other hazards. Rewiring a house can cost well into the thousands of dollars.
  • Leaky roofs can be cheap to patch, but if left unattended can lead to expensive replacement work.
  • Heating, cooling, ventilation and plumbing problems are other common issues.

Commute-Friendly Location

Most of us would probably rather not think about the cost of filling our gas tanks nowadays, but it definitely is something to consider when purchasing your home.

If where you live makes you need just one extra gallon each time you fill up, that could cost you almost $200 a year.

Don’t take the risk of buying a home only to use your paycheck to get to and from work. Search within a reasonable distance of where you work when shopping around and try not to fall in love with a house that’s too far away.

Don’t let D-I-Y turn into S.O.S.

Purchasing a home in need of a little work for a cheaper price is a good idea if you’re confident in your rehab skills. You can save significant cash if you avoid hiring a handyman, but if you go for a cheaper home and fail to do the repairs, you’re in trouble.

If you’re not confident in your skills, it’s best to buy a house in great condition or calculate the money for professional repairs into the mortgage and your budget.

Time of Purchase

If you want a large selection to choose from, your best chances are shopping in the spring. Sellers will be invigorated by the fresh weather and tax returns and be more apt to put their homes on the market.

Winter is often a great time to find decreased competition and desperate sellers. Even though you may get the house-purchasing itch in March, waiting a few months to shop may be in your best interest.