How a Bad Real Estate Market Can Save You Money
By Ginny Mees
Many states base your property tax on the valuation of your home. Call your town clerk and find out if this is the case in your area. If you think the value of your home has gone down, get a fresh appraisal or at least some real estate comparable sales in your area. Find out when you are allowed to submit for a reduction (usually only once a year) and see if you can get your property taxes down. I have a friend who is saving $5000 a year on property taxes.
• If you are a first time buyer and have a little cash at the ready, this is a great time to by a house. Mortgage interest rates are low and prices are very reasonable. Short sales and foreclosures are prevalent. While sad for the homeowners, it can gain you significant savings.
If you want to move up, even though you might have a home to tell, you’re still going to get more house for your money if you buy now. Since prices are down that means you’ll be paying less in commission and taxes. Realtors usually work on commission, so the lower the price the lower their fees.
If you are looking to renovate, many quality home renovators who are hard to come by in a building boom, are ready, willing and able to do those renovations you’ve been wanting to do forever.
You can make out like a bandit on new construction as well. They don’t like to lower the asking price too much because it affects the asking price of the other houses left to sell. However, builders are throwing in everything but the kitchen sink in ammenities to move vacation homes. This means you should negotiate hard for getting basements finished, upgraded appliances and cabinets, maybe even a pool.
Looking for an investment property, if you have the cash, now is the time to scoop some up. But remember to find out what the rents are going for in your area before signing on the dotted line. So many people get caught up in the idea of being a business owner, they forget to crunch the numbers. If it costs you too much more to own it then you get back in rent, you might want to look for a different property.
• Travel is at an all time low…so now is the time to take advantage of those great rates. Many hotels and resorts in order to keep their booking high, will offer lots of freebees, perks and upgrades. Check out the resort sites directly online or call them up. Do check the travel web sites, then compare them to a quote you get over the phone. Check out www.kayak.com for great ticket prices.
• Looking to go to a foreign country, save money by swapping houses. Go to www.homexchangevacation.com is a great site for assisting you in this idea…make your home cover your vacation housing costs. More people are doing this due to the economy.
You can also get great deals on timeshares right now. Do your research and make sure it’s a reputable company. But negotiate hard and watch how many times they sweeten the offer.
Now that you are aware of some of the great advantages we have currently which were not available before, it is time to figure out how you want to take advantage of the current opportunities. It is always a good idea to make decisions relying on your team of professionals. If you are in need of someone to help you with real estate, mortgage tax questions, or financial planning, visit www.womenhomeowners.com for some good people near you.
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