Michael Corbett's House-Hunting Tips: How Much Does It Really Cost?
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: Know how much buying your new house really costs. Your home purchasing costs don't stop with the down payment. You have to factor in the closing costs and all the expenses incurred in buying the house; appraisal fees, buyer's broker fees, loan application fees, loan broker fees, structural inspection fees, and so on. Those are the "upfront" costs. Then there are the "ongoing" costs, which includes property taxes, homeowner's insurance, hazard insurance, condo, homeowner's association fees, and moving expenses. You don't want your new home-owning experience to start by playing catch-up. Start saving up some extra cash now.
#2: Make sure you have your own buyer's agent to represent you on the purchase of any new condo or home construction. The developer's or builder's sales agents are in their employ, so they are not going to have your best interests as their first priority. "I hear so many novice buyers who are under the impression that they will be getting a better deal by going directly to the developer's agents," says Corbett. "But the truth is, developers typically set aside the money they must pay as commission to a broker who brings a buyer to the development, so when you show up and try to buy directly from the developer, you're only saving the developer money and putting your own deal at risk." It's clearly to your advantage to have your own Realtor from the get-go.
For more tips and guidelines, check out Corbett's book "Before You Buy!" on Amazon.com.