What to Consider When Buying a House at Auction

Have you ever considered buying a house at auction? Contrary to what some real estate agents say, buying a house through auction is actually one of the most practical ways for buyers to find a house. Most buyers who chose the conventional way of buying properties would often complain about the stressful and daunting process one has to go through when buying a house the usual way. Auctions, on the other hand, grant what is called an “absolute sale.” That is, once the hammer is banged after you made the last bid, the house is all yours.

But while movies made us believe that auctions are as easy as raising your hand (or your number) at digits you like, it isn’t totally a walk in the park. There are issues that you need to think about, too. So whether you are already decided or just thinking about it, here are the first three things you must consider when buying a house at auction.

1- Do you know the process and policies of the auction?

As home buyers, you have to play by the rules – the auction company’s rules. That means you have to be aware of their terms and conditions. Most auction companies give out flyers with their terms printed on it. Take time to go through them. If possible, consider calling the auction company and ask for information about future bidding. If there is anything that you don’t understand, make sure to speak with a lawyer or a real estate professional for clarification.

2- Have you viewed and researched the property?

Now the property you are looking at may seem like a beauty from the outside, and buyers often commit the mistake of not looking inside and around the house prior to bidding. Do your homework by checking out the background of the property. Talk to neighbors if you can. Find out if the property is foreclosed, on short sale, etc. An open house is often conducted for two weeks before the auction, so those who are interested can inspect the house before the actual bidding. It is a good idea to bring a real estate professional, an engineer, or an architect during your visit. However, this may mean you’d have to pay for their time.

3- Is this a house that you really like?

Once you’ve inspected the house, ask yourself the taxing question, “Is this a house that I want to buy?” But what is it that you really want? Write down the things you like in your future house, the things you like in this property, and the things you don’t like. Decide from there if investing in this house is worth your valuable savings.

On the day of the auction, you must come prepared. Be early to get a nice seat where the auctioneer will be able to see you. If you’re bidding for a really nice property, you might be surprised at how many people would turn out at the auction. Just keep your composure, think of your mission, and enjoy the bidding process! Stay tuned for part two of this discussion.

Buying A House – Location

Buying a House – Location Factors

Buying a house can be a time consuming, stressful, costly, and a confusing process. This series of entries will hopefully assist you with gaining the knowledge you need when buying a house. There will be many topics covered in this series but we are going to start with location.

We are starting with the location since it is the first thing you see when buying a house. Think of it in terms of your relationship; did you hear your significant other first or did you see them and have the initial attraction? What was your first thought when you saw the home for the first time? Your initial reaction should be what you base your opinion. If the home looks appealing at first glance you should go inside to see if it is appealing. Let’s use your relationship again; you were attracted but then you had to get to know the person on the inside to determine if it was the right person for you. It is the same when buying a house. There are a couple of things to look for and we will cover those later in this post. When you are at the home for the first time you should use the feeling you have to determine if you want to pursue this home further. Just like with relationships, buying a house is not always about first impressions. We have all dated someone that we didn’t get along with in the beginning. Some of those relationships turn out to be train wrecks and some last forever. If you have a mixed feeling then you should drive by the home again later by yourself. You gave someone along the way a second date right? The third date didn’t always happen though. The point is to be sure you didn’t miss something the first time.

Now lets talk about some of the things to look for with the location when buying a house. There are many external factors to consider when determining the right location for you.

Safety and Security When Buying a House

You always want to feel like it’s a comfortable and secure area. When you drive to the home did you notice any street lights close to the home and were they common in the development? If street lights are not common it is usually a sign of an area that is not maintained by the local government or power company. It could be an indication of crime or mischievous activity in the area. You can also help to determine an area by the front yard. If the grass does not look like it is being maintained on a regular basis by your neighbors or overly cluttered with junk you may not even want to get out of the car to look at the home. Once you’ve determined the area is suitable for you then consider some other locational factors.

Hearing and Smelling When Buying a House

Now that you have made it to the home and decide to get out of the car to look further you should change to what you hear and smell. There could be a paper mill or waste facility hidden behind the trees. You may hear kids playing or loud music. There could be a school closeby or kids playing in a yard. This is typically a good sign to indicate you are buying a house in a good area. If you hear loud music, yelling, or loud vehicles; you may want to get back in your car unless you like loud noise and neighbors.

Linkages to Consider When Buying a House

One often overlooked locational factor when buying a house are linkages. Linkages are the places you visit regularly such as work, school, church, or shopping. These should be within a reasonable proximity of the home. You should drive to all of these places from the home a couple of times and at different times during the day. It may seem extreme before buying a house but you will drive to these places every day if you live there. It will help you determine if rush hour changes your daily commute or how long it will take to pick up your kids from school. You should also drive to the home from one route and leave going a different route. This will help you familiarize yourself with all of your surrounding. It is common practice in Real Estate for an agent to drive you to the home entering and leaving using the same route. The reasons for this may be a less desirable entry from one route they do not want you to see or it may be the only route they know. Since you are buying a home, not the agent, request to be taken to the home by one route and leave by a different route.

Weekend Factors to Consider When Buying a House

There is one last locational factor that is rarely thought of by someone buying a house. It is rare that someone buying a house will drive by themselves to the home over the weekend during the day and at night to determine if the neighborhood changes during the weekend. All of your neighbors could be diligent workers during the week but host parties or have a lot of noise on your street during the weekend.

If you are satisfied with all of the locational factors there are a couple of small items recommended you do before giving the location a passing grade.

Know ALL of Your Surrounding When Buying a House

Now you should look at satellite images of the immediate area to determine if there is anything in close proximity that would be a negative for you. You can look at satellite images on Mapquest or Google Maps. You should also look at your most recent Census. This is a free service provided by the government. To get the most reliable data you can type in the address and retrieve information, whether it be a half mile or 5 mile in diameter surrounding the home.

It is important to know all you can when buying a house. It starts with the location so gain as much knowledge and ask as many questions as you can prior to buying a house.

Is It Good to Buy a House During Winter?

When winter comes, most of us are very busy with the gift-giving season. Large portions of the population are on shopping malls while a lot of netizens flood online shopping sites to buy gifts. Yet, there are also some people who are thinking of the winter months as a good opportunity to buy their dream house. The rest of the article shows you some people purchase homes during winter.

Home prices are on low

Because most people would never think of relocating during winter months, there are sellers who mark down the price of their properties. This is a real scenario particularly to those who are in hurry of having their property sold. Thus, it is a good chance to choose from several houses which are all on cheaper prices than they are originally tagged. Unlike the traditional home buying months, demand for houses is low such that you can take advantage of dipping home prices.

The winter months expose house flaws which cannot be uncovered during other seasons

If there is another good thing brought by the winter months, it is showcasing the safety and security of the structure when snow and ice fill the perimeter and the surrounding. You can clearly see how thick snow accumulates on the roof, on the ground, driveway, and on the streets. You can see whether neighboring houses affect the property you are going to buy. Yet, this is a perfect time to see the appealing trees that glisten with the snow flakes. Amaze yourself of a night time curb appeal created by Yuletide lights scattered on the garden and other exterior areas of the house you are going to buy.

The cold weather is also an ideal time to test how certain house features like the fireplace works

Would you dare test the fireplace of a house to buy during summer months? Some would say yes, but due to the very hot weather, this is often forgotten. During winter, the fireplace works most of the time thus you’ll have an opportunity to actually experience the warmth it gives off while the snow is busy covering the outside paths.

Not many would-be buyers are on the house hunting game

The season makes most people busy. Thus, there wouldn’t be many home buyers like you who would be thinking that winter is a good time to buy a house. Because of lack of potential buyers, sellers would stake or risk profits just to sell their homes. Of course, this is a probability that may or may not occur but according to real estate agents, more buyers would be testing the winter as a perfect chance for their house hunt.