Are You Buying a House or a Home?
As you read and study about buying real estate, you will often find the
words "house" and "home" used interchangeably. There is a huge
difference between a house and a home.
A house can be a place to eat, sleep, park your car, and put all your
"stuff" (including other family members). It is a material possession
and an investment. A home is where you feel comfortable, warm, safe, and
protected. A home is where you live.
A house is something you buy logically. A home is an emotional purchase.
When buying real estate you have to balance your emotional wants and
your logical needs because there will almost certainly be a time when
the two conflict.
For example, you may want a house with a view, but the payment is higher
than you feel comfortable with on a thirty-year fixed rate mortgage.
What do you do?
Purchase the house anyway and budget more carefully for the next few
years? Buy the same house without the view and get it cheaper? Make a
larger down payment by borrowing from your 401K or family members, so
you get a lower payment? Get an adjustable rate mortgage with a smaller
payment instead of a fixed rate loan? Or buy a smaller house and still
get the view? When viewing the house, most people look at it emotionally
and envision it as a safe, happy, comfortable home. Later, when making
the offer or filling out a mortgage application, your logic may begin to
kick in, instead.
The trick in buying real estate is to view all decisions with both a
logical perspective and an emotional perspective. If a situation
presents itself that requires a trade-off, decide on whether there is a
huge conflict or a small one. Logic should win the big conflicts, but
emotion should always be a factor, even winning the small ones.
You will find yourself owning a warm, happy, safe home - and an
investment for the future at a price you are willing to pay.
GET THE RIGHT REALTOR
You want an agent who knows the area in detail and has already previewed
many of the homes available for sale in the community. Community
knowledge should be important to you because you are not just buying a
house. You are buying a home in a local neighborhood in a specific
Every Realtor can show you every property available for sale in the
Multiple Listing Service. Since that is true, you can call any real
estate office and find a Realtor willing to show you houses for sale.
The problem is that you do not know if you are talking to an excellent
Realtor or a lazy inactive one. Get Meg!
Has the land been surveyed recently? Boundary overlaps, property
line disputes, and errors from previous surveys are not uncommon. A new
or recent survey assures boundary integrity, and provides the basis for
Public Road or Right of Way
Purchase contracts provide that a property must have access. If it
fronts on a public road - so much the better. Public roads in Georgia are always numbered. If not, a deeded right-of-way may be
Property tax valuations and rates are considered public knowledge.
They may be obtained from the county tax assessor's office, or from the
Restrictions & Covenents
You may have a special purpose for the land you purchase. Be certain
there are no laws or restrictions against the use you have in mind. The
listing broker can provide this information.
Water, sewer, and electricity are often key concerns for land
buyers. Drilled wells are most common with county water systems
available in some areas. Septic tanks provide sewage disposal. Local
power companies serve virtually all areas.
Many tracts are accessed via rights-of-way across other properties.
If easements or rights-of-way exist across the property you are buying,
you'll want to know. Ask the broker or your attorney for details.
You can count on Meg to find your new home. Call