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Buying Philadelphia Real Estate

Guest Blogger- Frank L. Defazio, Realtor & Attorney

After years of representing buyers in Philadelphia I decided it was time to write a post that would give advice to anyone dipping their toe in the Philadelphia Real Estate market.  The current economy has pros (low interest rates) and cons (high unemployment, shaky economy) like any other but I firmly believe that one thing holds true in any economy – the advantages of buying far outweigh renting for most people in most cities.  Here is some advice that I can offer after a decade of buying, owning, investing in, managing, leasing, and selling Philadelphia Real Estate

  • Find an experienced, honest, straight shooting, full time real estate agent. This is not a shameless plug! I firmly believe that smart, successful people surround themselves with smart, experienced, experts that can help guide them to a well thought out decision. If you don’t buy and sell Philadelphia Real Estate every day all day for a living, how could you possibly understand the Philadelphia Real Estate home buying process and all of the nuances and intricacies of the available inventory, purchase contract, Philadelphia title insurance and mortgage process? How could you possibly know what a good deal or a great deal looks like? You can’t! Get referrals from friends, use Google to search, go to open houses and keep looking until you find someone you feel has the experience, resume and personality to represent you and your interests.
  • Get Preapproved. This is synonymous with get pre-qualified. Soon to be buyers of Philadelphia Real Estate constantly call and tell me what the upper limit of their property search is. I always ask “how do you know that’s your limit?” and the answer is inevitably the same – I used an online mortgage calculator. Getting preapproved is a 100% free, no obligation way to find out what you can really afford from someone who specializes in Philadelphia mortgages. If you are represented by an established mortgage professional he or she may be able to get you a better rate than the one you were quoted online or by another lender. Moreover, be honest with yourself about what you can afford and what you are comfortable paying each month. Find a monthly payment amount you are comfortable with and stick with the correlating loan amount.
  • Create A Hierarchy of Priorities. I subscribe to the House MD theory of Philadelphia Real Estate sales (i.e. everyone lies) but it’s not that clients are intentionally being misleading.  Most buyers don’t know what they ultimately want because they don’t know the inventory and they may not know what features are must haves and what features would be nice to have. Buyers should consider everything before looking at homes: price, beds/baths, square footage, outdoor space, parking, location, walk ability, floor-plan and neighborhood. Be realistic about what you can afford and then sit down and actually write down what features are essential, and which would be nice but are not deal breakers. Try to rank the features because you will ultimately be forced compare and decide. No buyer at any price gets 100% what they want, everyone makes concessions and compromises.
  • See Everything. Obviously you shouldn’t literally see everything. However, be sure to view enough homes that you are ready, willing and able to pull the trigger when you see the right one. Somewhere in the 15-20 range is probably reasonable. Take advice from your agent on which homes you should see because he or she has likely seen many with other clients or during broker’s open houses.
  • Enjoy the Journey. There is one thing I am entirely certain of and that is that Buying Philadelphia Real Estate should be a fun, enjoyable process with an equally fun and satisfying ending. Stress and emotion are inevitable because of the costs, time, complexities and personalities involved but enjoy the process. Work with smart, honest agents and lenders who make you feel comfortable and allow you to breath, smile and just maybe even laugh occasionally.

About The Author

Philadelphia Real Estate expert Frank L. Defazio has extensive background in all types of transactions: residential, commercial, leasing, sales, property management, investing, and real estate developing. Click here for more information.

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