Rent payments got you down? Considering an investment? Navigate the Denver housing market like a pro by letting us help you with some free advice.
Q: In a slow real estate market, should I hold off on buying a house?
A: Probably not. A down market is usually good news for buyers. When housing prices and interest rates drop, it can become cheaper to buy rather than rent.
Q: In a “hot” market (a “seller’s market”), should I hold off on buying a house?
A: Not necessarily. Instead of waiting and hoping that the market slows down, it may be better to buy before prices rise higher, especially because real estate is almost always a good investment over the long haul.
Q: What’s a cheap, smart way to search for houses?
A: Using an agent is essentially free. Why? Most buyers’ agents are paid via commission on closing by the seller. For-sale-by-owner houses don’t often save you money because they are usually just as expensive or more pricey than other comparable houses, although some work with buyers’ agents.
There are a lot of websites for searching on your own. Once you’ve narrowed your search to certain neighborhoods, you can use a knowledgeable agent who will represent your interests and accompany you through the process—from property evaluation to financing to negotiating to closing.
Q: How do I know what is a fair price for a house?
A: Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. In uniform housing developments, it is very simple because all the houses are quite similar. It is harder in older, more diverse neighborhoods, where a wide range of house types exist. A real estate agent who knows greater Denver neighborhoods can tell you which houses are comparable and which are not.
Q: What do I need to watch out for when buying a house?
A: Look for good bones! Some houses that look awful are actually well built, and nice-looking ones—even new houses— can be a wreck underneath. That’s why it’s important to make sure your agent helps you to get home inspections, surveys if needed, and advice on what can and cannot be done to improve a home’s value. A good agent can help you sort through these things to find a well-rounded, quality house.
Q: Should I hire a home inspector when buying a house?
A: The short answer is yes. The long answer is that you’ll often be better off hiring several specialists in key areas so that a general inspector doesn’t miss something important. For example, if the house you want to buy shows signs of possible structural damage, then you need a structural engineer (some structural engineers do complete home inspections). If it has an old roof or an ancient furnace, you’ll want a roofing or heating contractor (see “Resources” section). A good buyers’ agent will help you know which inspectors are worth hiring.
Want to learn more? Contact Paul and let decades of experience guide you.