Monday, July 9, 2012

Homebuying secrets to steal from flippers

July Buying Advice (© Spencer Platt/Getty Images)The words "real-estate investor" are enough to make many buyers grit their teeth. With inventory tight, these all-cash rivals are hard to beat when it comes to nabbing properties.
If you can't beat them, you might as well learn from them. How do they pinpoint the best deals? And how can you make your offer stand out from others?

In this month's Buying Advice, we'll also look at the kinds of problems a home inspection can turn up, and how having one done can save you money — both at closing and on your utility bills. And we'll check in with the latest housing statistics, which point to a slow but continued recovery.

A little flippin' advice
Start by studying the neighborhood. As soon as a traditional listing or foreclosed home becomes available,  scrutinize the surrounding three blocks and look at the following factors:
  • How many homes are on the market and how long have they been on the market?
  • What condition are these properties in?
  • What's in escrow? What have houses nearby sold for in the past 90 days?
Buyers must take the time to learn the marketplace and look at a lot of homes, so they will know real value when they see it. Some see more than 100 homes for every one they buy.
But most people want to get serious the first day they go out and look at homes.
They say you need to treat homebuying more like dating: See what's out there and figure out what features you like so you can jump when you see the perfect fit.

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