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Real Estate Corner: Be deliberate, not desperate, when buying a house
Did you know, for example, that the median age of home buyers in New Hampshire, at 38, is four years younger than the median age of all United States home buyers? Or that the median income of those home buyers, at $93,700, is $10,400 higher than that of home buyers nationally?
That national first-time home buyer number has been dropping consistently since 2009 (47 percent) and 2010 (50 percent), and in fact in January, only 26 percent of home purchases were by first-time buyers, the lowest single month since January 2008.
Several factors are making it difficult for them to purchase a home in today’s market — things like tight credit, limited inventory, higher home prices and higher mortgage interest rates.
If you’re one of those would-be home buyers, first-time or otherwise, who is considering attending the Home Buyer Fair this weekend, you might be in the position where you’re eager to make an offer and get negotiations started. If you’re buying in a tight market where sellers have the upper hand, you may even feel pressured to put in an offer the moment you see a house.
Here are a few thoughts on the subject from Michele Lerner at realtor.com:
3. Check on the schools. Even if you don’t have children, buying a home in a good school district is an important way to make sure your home maintains its value. You can find information on each school district website or go to www.GreatSchools.com for ratings.
7. Test your commute. If you only visit a home on a weekend you’ll have no idea what the traffic pattern is like during rush hour, which could have a big impact on your enjoyment of the property.
You may be able to negotiate for the seller to pay for home improvements, but it’s always better to go into a house with full knowledge of its condition.
Dave Cummings is the director of communications for the New Hampshire Association of Realtors. Material from the National Association of Realtors 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, and “10 Things to Consider Before Making an offer on a Home,” by Michele Lerner of realtor.com, was used for this report.
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