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Tag Archive first time buyer

Buying Vs Renting – The Same Old Debate

Why would someone write another article on buying versus renting a home? What’s in it for the author of the article? Why would you read one? What is it you want to hear?

Do you just want confirmation and justification for what you already believe and want to do? Or, are you looking to be convinced otherwise? or simply just trying to “figure it out”? These are all good questions to ask if you find yourself reading an article on whether it makes more sense to buy a home, or to rent.

There are “reasons” to buy, and “reasons” to rent. Which is good, people want to make choices based upon reason. So, if you start reading about whether to buy versus rent a home, you’ll certainly be given “reasons” like:

  • When renting you’re just paying someone else’s mortgage.
  • You’re throwing your money away when you rent.
  • You have nothing to show for it. If you buy, you’re at least building equity.
  • Many of the richest people built their wealth through real estate. Real estate is a great long-term investment. Values always go up in the long-term.

Those are all real and valid reasons to some degree. But if you start reading articles bent on renting a home, versus buying, you’ll be given opposing “reasons”, like:

  • When you rent, you aren’t tied down to an area. You have freedom.
  • You aren’t responsible for the upkeep and maintenance when things break.
  • Real estate values are not guaranteed to always go up.
  • Your house could be less than you bought it for if the economy changes.

Again, all valid “reasons” to some degree. Regardless of whether the article is pro-buying or pro-renting, the “reasons” cited tend to ALWAYS be the same, decade after decade, regardless of the market. They are overused, and honestly, pretty useless to anyone in particular. There is no absolute answer that is right for everyone.

In the end, it shouldn’t be a DIY diagnosis.

You can find plenty of “sources” to formulate your opinion on what makes sense for you. There are online calculators to help you figure out if renting or buying makes more sense for you. But that’s kind of like looking up health information online. It’s good to get some thoughts and perspective. Educate yourself. But it’s not necessarily proper for you to diagnose and treat yourself.

Same when it comes to financial and real estate decisions. Certainly educate yourself. Become informed. But truly assessing whether or not it makes more sense for you to buy a home or rent a house warrants getting some professional help. Professional help can cost less than self-help (At least in real estate…). While you can certainly sift through all the information you want online for free, and come to your own conclusion, you can also get the advice of someone who is a real estate expert for free, one thats actually applicable to your situation.

All you have to do is reach out to a real estate agent. A good real estate agent will give you advice. A great one will help you figure out if buying or renting makes better sense for you. They’ll help you assess your situation lend you their thoughts and insight based upon their knowledge and experience. And most of them will do this for free. They get paid if and when you end up buying or renting a place.

Now, certainly, you might question their motives… Will they push you to buy versus rent to make more money? Will they push you to rent because it’s quicker, easier money? Why would they help me for free? There’s got to be a catch. Sure, there are some agents who are in it just to make money. But most real estate agents are more caring and concerned about their clients’ best interests, than their own self-interest.

That doesn’t mean every real estate agent will necessarily be able to give you the best advice, even if they are caring, concerned, and not pushy. Finding an agent who knows the local area and has experience makes a huge difference in the quality of the advice. So, make sure you find not just an agent, but a great agent when you ask for advice. (If they’re all offering their advice for free, you might as well choose the best, right?)

Who’s the best agent to talk to? Where should I go?

Considering this is my article, of course I feel like I’m the best agent for you to talk to. Maybe I’m the best agent for you to talk to… maybe not. The best way to find out for sure if, or how, I can help is for us to have a quick chat.

I work all throughout Central PA, primarily in Lancaster County, Lebanon County, York County and Berks County. But in all honesty, I am not an expert on buying a home everywhere in the State of Pennsylvania. There are some parts I am not as familiar with. So if I’m not the best agent for you, I’ll tell you and I almost always know another agent who may suit your situation better.

So why not give me a call at 717-371-0557, or send me an email, and let’s schedule a time to talk. No obligation. I never push people to do one thing over another. If buying makes more sense for you, we’ll figure that out. If renting does, we’ll figure that out. I just want to make sure you’re able to make the best and most objective decision possible.

Have questions?  Do you want to buy or sell a property?  Call me or text at 717-371-0557, I’ll be happy to help you!  You can always email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-291-1041 as well!

Your Friend in Real Estate, 
Jason Burkholder
Realtor, e-Pro
Associate Broker
Certified Marketing Specialist
Weichert, Realtors – Welcome Home
717-291-1041 office
717-371-0557 direct or text

PS – As always, I’d like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please feel free to let me know, forward this post to your friends and subscribe!

Do you “make enough money” to buy a home? Probably yes!

Have you thought about owning but didn’t think you “made enough money” to buy a home?

You don’t know what you don’t know

If it’s your first time buying or selling real estate, you don’t know what you don’t know.

There are tons of potential pitfalls and challenges along the way that it’s hard to anticipate when you don’t know what to expect.  The last thing you want to do is lose because you tripped over one of these.

But luckily for you, most of the missteps taken by first time buyers and sellers are pretty universal, which means you can learn from their mistakes and avoid falling into the same traps.

Here are four common real estate mistakes to avoid the first time you buy or sell a home:

1. Thinking you know the right price

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The price of a home – whether you’re buying or selling – is one of the most important components of a real estate transaction. But there’s a lot more that goes into pricing than what meets the eye.

Pricing a home is a kind of a blend of art and science. There are so many factors that come into play – time of year, current market conditions, how quickly homes are selling the neighborhood, the current value of the home. I take all of those factors into consideration when helping you come up with the right price for a home.

Without a real estate background, it’s impossible for most to understand all of those conditions and how they affect the price of a home. If you’re selling, you’re likely to think your home should sell for a higher price because of the value it holds for you. If you’re buying, you’re likely to think a property should sell for less because that means a better deal on your end.

But ignoring pricing advice because you think you “know” what the price of a property should be is a mistake. As a seller, you’ll end up overpricing your house (which will leave it sitting on the market). As a buyer, you’ll end up lowballing your offer (and losing the house in the process).

The first time you’re buying or selling a home, it’s your best bet to leave the pricing to the experts. Your real estate agent will always work to get you the best deal – and keep you from pricing yourself out of the deal you want.

2. Not budging on negotiations

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Another mistake first time buyers and sellers make is being too rigid when it comes to negotiations.

Most real estate transactions require a bit of compromise. As a seller, you might need to give in on some of your buyer’s demands and as a buyer, you might need to work with the sellers a bit in order to close the deal. It’s just the way real estate works. And if you’re not willing to give an inch, the deal can very quickly go south.

Now, just to be clear: you should never compromise TOO much. Don’t compromise on the things that are important to you. But if a minor repair is all that’s standing between you and closing your real estate deal, giving in can be much easier than walking away.

3. Not thinking outside of the box

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If there’s a mistake that nearly all first time home buyers make during their home search, it’s not thinking outside of the box.

Most first time buyers have a very specific idea of what they’re looking for in a home. And while it’s fine to know what you want, refusing to look at properties that don’t check off every single item on your wish list is a major mistake – a mistake that can keep you from finding a home you’re in love with.

If you want to find a home you love, it pays to get creative and see as many properties as possible. Have certain non-negotiables (like a specific number of bedrooms or a designated outdoor space) but allow for some wiggle room on everything else. You’ll end up seeing more properties, and who knows? You might fall in love with a house that’s totally different from what you thought you wanted – a house you would never have seen if you didn’t think outside of the box.

4. Trying to do everything on your own

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Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make the first time you buy or sell a home is trying to do everything on your own.

Buying or selling a home is not only hard work, but it requires a certain level of knowledge and expertise. You need to know where to look for hot properties, how to market to buyers, how to negotiate, how to file all the paperwork… if you’ve never bought or sold a home, it can be completely overwhelming.

Which is why you need a real estate agent to walk you through the process. When you work with a great real estate agent, they make the experience of buying or selling a home easier, faster, and more profitable.

Trying to do everything on your own is a mistake. But hiring a real estate agent can quickly rectify that.

Buying or selling your first home can be overwhelming. But now that you know the most common mistakes to avoid, you’re well on your way to a stress-free first time buyer or seller experience!

Still have more questions?  Do you want to sell or buy a property?  Call me at 717-371-0557, I’ll be happy to help you!

If you want to search Lancaster County or Central PA homes for sale, visit www.JasonsHomes.com to access an MLS home search that shows you all the homes for sale in the Central PA Multiple Listing Service (MLS) !

As always, I’d like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please feel free to let me know, forward this post to your friends and subscribe!

If you have questions, need real estate advice or want to buy or sell a home, you can call or text me at 717-371-0557, email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-291-1041!

Your Friend in Real Estate,

Jason Burkholder

Realtor, e-Pro
Associate Broker
Certified Marketing Specialist
Weichert, Realtors – Welcome Home
717-291-1041 office
717-371-0557 direct or text

Sold! 146 W Front Street Marietta, Pa 17547 – 24/7/365 ONLINE VIDEO OPEN HOUSE – MLS# 266775

Welcome Back!  Today we are taking a look at 146 W Front St Marietta, Pa 17547! This Marietta home for sale is in the Donegal School District and in Marietta Boro!  Click through to check out the video and a link to all pictures/details to learn more!  To see this home in person, call or text me at 717-371-0557!

SOLD-Web Trek Online Video Open House 1520 Park Lancaster, Pa 17601 – For Sale – $160,000 – MLS# 192630

Welcome Back!  Today we have an Online Video Open House for 1520 Park Road Lancaster, Pa 17603!  This spacious brick ranch style home offers over 1,400 square feet of living space with natural green views from all of the windows!  Click through to the video and read on to learn more!

SOLD! Web Trek Online Open House of 617 West Vine St, Lancaster, Pa 17603 NEW PRICE – $69,900, MLS 181811

Welcome Back Readers!  Today we have a Web Trek Online Open House at 617 West Vine Street in Lancaster City’s historic West End!  This huge detached property is 1,619 Sq ft and offers 4-5 bedrooms and loads of storage space!   Check out the video for your personal tour!

Again, Zillow Ranks Lancaster PA one of the Best Places to Buy a Home Right Now!

Welcome Back Readers!

Once again Zillow.com  has ranked Lancaster County as one of the best places to buy a home right now!   As reported on Forbes.com yesterday, due to “affordability, as measured by home price to income ratios; the unemployment picture (both the absolute figure and how it’s trending over time); the foreclosure situation; and year-over-year housing price trends”  Lancaster County PA is the 8th Best Place to buy a home in the nation!  Read on after the jump for more!

Zillow Ranks Lancaster County 7th Best Place to Buy a Home!

Welcome Back Readers!  Today we are bringing you some particularly awesome news, Zillow has recently ranked Lancaster County PA as one of the top places in the nation to buy a home 2011!  We hit the list at Number 7, which considering we were competing with literally thousands of places across the nation is pretty spectacular!

The best thing about this ranking?  It takes into account what is happening NOW.  In this economy, with the current unemployment rate, interest rates, affordability levels, etc.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if it’s the right time for you to buy, there are great opportunities out there right now.  Read on after the jump to see why we were included in the list of the Best Places to Buy in 2011!

Home Buyer Incentives for Lancaster Pa Homes for Sale

Welcome Back Readers!   Today we’re talking about Buyer Incentives.  You’ve seen them, buy this house and seller will pay selling agent bonus, seller will include new Cadillac, enter contest to win a Cruise to Bahamas.  Now, not many sellers have been offering these types of incentives in Lancaster, but in new construction we have seen No Mortgage Payments for a Year, $40,000 in Builder Upgrades, buy our home and if yours doesn’t sell we buy yours, etc. 

On the surface, you might think these are all great ideas, but they aren’t.  They are actually terrible ideas.  Read on after the jump to find out why!

Avoid Pet Odors When Selling Lancaster Pa Home!

Welcome Back Readers!  Today we are going to talk a little about the subject many home buyers complain about, Pet Odors.  Pet Odors can be a big problem when selling, many pet phobic buyers who catch the slightest whiff of Fido or Fluffy the Kitty turn around an walk right back out the door. That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of Fido and Fluffy, we know they are part of the family and you love them.  It does mean that you have to take some steps to address the issue.   Read on after the jump to find out more!