Money Kuel Category Expert: Joy Alford-Brand
One of the results of this pandemic is an accelerated real estate market. This may not be a surprise to you since the weeks we all spent in quarantine forced us to take a hard look at our homes and decide to change things up a bit.
More and more people are out there buying and selling homes. They are taking advantage of the unique buyer’s and seller’s market we have going on right now.
So, what about you? Are you thinking about buying a house or putting yours on the market? If you are, here are a few tips you might need to know in order to make the most of the current real estate market.
“what does the seller have to disclose in order to survive a legal challenge to the sale”
First, you should understand the concept of Caveat Emptor. This is Latin for the phrase “let the buyer beware.” What it boils down to is who is responsible for hidden issues once the contract is signed, the money is exchanged and the deed has been transferred. Another way of saying this is what does the seller have to disclose in order to survive a legal challenge to the sale after the fact.
If you are thinking about buying a house and you have questions about Caveat Emptor, the best thing you can do is contact a real estate attorney in your jurisdiction and ask them to help you through the sale process. They will know the law in your state. And, they will be able to help you protect yourself from fraudulent sellers.
You may be asking why I’m bringing this up in this article. After all, people have been buying and selling homes for ages, right? Well, yes, but it turns out that in this crazy real estate market, some sellers are asking that buyers purchase the home “as is.” This means buyers could get caught with hidden issues that would have been deal breakers had they known about it during the purchase process. Make sure you educate yourself before you buy! Don’t get caught with a problem that costs more than the house is worth to resolve.
Don’t Be Fooled By Low Interest Rates:
“being blind to the rule of thumb that you should live within your means, is entirely another”
Second, make sure you are clear on what is going into the purchase price of your home. My concern is folks will see low interest rates and rush to buy more house than they can really afford. They will miss extra expenses like mortgage insurance, if they don’t have enough of a down payment to avoid it. Taking advantage of low interest rates is one thing, being blind to the rule of thumb that you should live within your means, is entirely another.
Make sure you work with your lender so you’ll know exactly what your mortgage payment will be once the sale is concluded. If you can’t afford the mortgage payment comfortably, you shouldn’t buy the house. This economy is unstable enough that folks are finding themselves working and financially stable one day and unable to make their mortgage payments the next. Unless you know you are financially secure, proceed with caution when buying more house than you could normally afford.
Let’s Talk Inspectors!
Finally, let’s talk about inspections for a minute. Another phenomenon I’ve been seeing in the real estate market is folks buying homes without inspections. Let me just say that this practice really isn’t a good idea at all. I would never suggest that someone buy a home without having a certified inspector look at it carefully. And, not just for structural issues or the general condition of the home, either. I would suggest a termite inspection, too. Then I would ask your certified inspector what their inspection doesn’t cover and for a referral to the additional inspectors you might need. In this situation, the old adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is so very true. The grief you could save yourself over mold, asbestos, septic problems or the like, could be worth tenfold the price of the money pit you narrowly avoided buying.
Talk To The Right People:
“You’ll be glad you did when you are sitting pretty in your new home.”
The current real estate market can be a great thing for people who are well situated to take advantage of it. However, if you don’t know what you are doing, or you take too big of a risk, you could wind up losing your shirt! A little common sense goes a long way to making sure you’ve covered your bases. Make sure you’ve talked to the right people before you buy. You’ll be glad you did when you are sitting pretty in your new home.
For more in-depth information on the state of the real estate market, check out my latest podcast episode here.
About the Author:
Joy Alford-Brand is an author, public speaker and attorney. She graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in History from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio in 1994 and she received her Juris Doctor from Ohio State University College of Law in 1998. Her main area of practice is Bankruptcy. She is admitted in North Carolina where she lives and works. Joy founded newcashview.com in 2015 as a platform through which she could help others work toward financial freedom and peace of mind! For more information, check out newcashview.com.