Best-selling author, real estate expert and "Extra's" Mansions and Millionaires host Michael Corbett gives you some hot tips on the best ways to buy a home -- all from his new book, "Before You Buy!"
This week's tips:
#1: Avoid short sales and foreclosures. Short sales can drag on for months, often leaving you with no deal, and higher interest rates -- and just because a house has been taken back by a lender or the government doesn't mean it's a winning deal for you. Don't assume that every house in foreclosure is automatically a steal. Remember, if it was a fantastic home and an amazing property, the original owner might have been able to sell it to get out of foreclosure. Even if it's currently priced well and it seems like a good deal, there are plenty of hoops you have to jump through and roadblocks you will have to overcome.
#2: Go for 15 or 30-year fixed mortgages. You never know what may happen with the economy, the housing market, interest rates... or your life. You want to know that you have a safe and consistent mortgage payment every month for the life of the loan. Avoid adjustable or creative financing, balloon payments or teaser loans. You want the confidence that the mortgage payment you have today will be the mortgage payment you'll be paying 10, or 20 or 30 years from now.
"Interest rates do not always hover around 5 and 6 percent," says Corbett. "It may seem unbelievable to you today, but I remember buying a property and being thrilled that I was able to lock in a fixed rate at only 12.5 percent! That's right, within the past few decades, interest rates have actually gone to over 14 percent. And that could easily happen again. Lock it in low... now."
For more tips and guidelines, check out Corbett's book "Before You Buy!" on Amazon.com.