If you are preparing to buy your first home for sale in South Lake Tahoe, you are either looking for advice OR you keep getting it from well meaning family members and friends. While tips from loved ones can be great, you will want to be discerning with the info that comes your way. The writers over at Realtor.com put together a great blog this month on advice from buyers and realtors that we thought would be worth passing on. Of course, it is important to note that every client and every home for sale in South Lake Tahoe is different, so these aren’t going to apply to everyone. Be sure to work closely with your realtor in South Lake Tahoe so you can feel confident you are making the best moves for you. No pun intended.
Buy less house than you can afford. Everyone’s financial situation varies, so this may not be something you need to think about when looking at homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe. However, being house rich and cash poor is no fun. When you buy less than you can afford, you can rest assured that you won’t have to stress about making your mortgage payment or falling behind. Additionally, furnishings AND utility bills cost more in a larger home. If you can’t afford to put furniture in every room of the house or the monthly bills or upkeep that comes with more square footage, think twice before looking at South Lake Tahoe homes for sale that push your budget. Also, steer clear of any South Lake Tahoe Realtor that tries talking you into maxing out your budget.
Speaking of maintenance and cost, don’t think of your mortgage payment as the only cost associated with buying homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe. The age of the home as well as the size will impact your annual housing budget. You can expect somewhere around 1%-4% of the properties sale price to be what you spend each year in maintenance costs. Your South Lake Tahoe realtor can always find out what the current sellers pay to give you a better idea. Just be sure to fix things as they come up. If you let tasks slide for too long, they will cost more in the long run.
Money isn’t the ONLY things that matters when it comes to making an offer on South Lake Tahoe homes for sale. The highest offer doesn’t always win. A lower offer can still be appealing if it comes with a high earnest money, you don’t have a ton of contingencies, and you make sure to have as competitive of an offer as possible. Your Realtor in South Lake Tahoe will work with you on putting together an offer that stands out, just don’t talk yourself out of making an offer simply because you can’t come up with some extra cash.
There are more than just 30 year mortgage options. Yes, a fixed interest rate is great for a lot of people, but it won’t work for everyone. You may need an option that has a lower down payment or a 15 year mortgage. Shop for loans before locking in the one that seems to be the most common.
Leave the kids at home when you tour South Lake Tahoe homes for sale. At first anyway. This actually has a couple perks. If your children are on the younger side and need full attention on them at all times, this allows you to fully concentrate on the houses you are looking at and not be distracted. It also keeps the kiddos from falling in love with a property that just isn’t going to work. Bring them through once you have narrowed down the list and are getting ready to make an offer. Moving is already tough enough on kids, especially if they have to leave behind friends. Being dragged through multiple homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe when you aren’t looking forward to moving can be, well, a drag.
Visit the property at different times of the day. This isn’t necessarily just for safety purposes either. Although, that is important! Check out traffic patterns and noises that are present when people aren’t at work. For example, is your potential neighbor in a garage band or is traffic so bad after work that it takes forever to get through the neighborhood during rush hour?
Check for any upcoming development or construction in the area. If you prefer a quieter dwelling away from all the noise and action, make sure that there is no way that additional buildings could go up and block your view, or that there is commercial zoning nearby. Stay open though if there is! New local businesses mean cool amenities within walking distance which is a pretty great convenience to have.
For more information on what to know as a buyer, feel free to give me a call. As a long time South Lake Tahoe realtor, I would be happy to walk you through the process of becoming a home owner.