How to Find a Cheap Home

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How to Find a Home on a Budget

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Shopping for a new home can be a trying time in anyone's life, but if you are on a tight budget, things get even harder. Homes are usually the most expensive things that you can buy and it doesn't help that they also tend to have prices that fluctuate dramatically. You're going to need to do some work to get the best deal possible and keep the move to a new home from breaking your budget.

Finding a home that won't cost you too much is the first an most important step to keeping your move cheap. You don't want to look at homes outside your price range and you also don't want to overpay for homes that could be within your budget, but are simply being offered at an inflated price. Here are some tips for finding a home on a budget:
  • Find a desperate seller. A little research can help with this immensely. Desperation from sellers means lower prices for buyers
  • Find an appropriate neighbourhood for your budget. Home prices tend to be directly tied to where they are located. It is exceedingly rare to find the one bargain house in a neighbourhood full of mansions. If you're trying to keep your move cheap you should choose a low demand area in order to afford a nicer home.
  • Look for foreclosures but don't expect too steep of a discount. In other countries, foreclosures are the best way to find a house on a budget. In Canada, the law requires foreclosed homes to be sold at fair market value. Banks and other lenders still are more eager to sell than a typical homeowner so you can still get slightly better prices on foreclosed homes.
  • Find an abandoned property, if possible. Empty homes are a huge waste of money for their owners. You certainly could move into one for a low price since the owner will be delighted to have anyone pay anything for it. It may take some sprucing up, but that can be done by you gradually and maybe the seller will even pay for some of the maintenance and updating to facilitate the sale.
  • Contact an established mortgage broker. Experienced mortgage brokers have a long list of contacts that you can exploit to find the most desperate home sellers available. It is a broker's job to do this for you and in this case, the more experience, the better.
  • Find someone living in one house, but owning two. Paying two mortgages can be tough and if an overzealous homeowner finds himself in this situation they may be very willing to sell their empty home for a discounted price.
  • Look for homes that have been on the market for a long time. Sellers and even brokers who have a property that they can't seem to sell are much more likely to accept a low-ball offer, especially if the broker's contract to sell the home is about to expire.
  • Ask your family for housing. Someone in your family may be moving to a new or bigger house, see if you can't slip into their old one. chances are your family will give you the best discount possible on the price of your new home...unless they hate you.
  • Have as few deal-breakers as possible. If your budget is tight, you need to be prepared to make compromises when looking for a home. You may have to give up that great yard space you wanted or settle for a longer commute to work. Choose just one or two things that are absolutely essentials for your new home and let everything else be things you are willing to compromise on for the sake of keeping your search for a home affordable.
Once you pick a particular home to move in, remember that your budget needs to include the hidden costs of the house like any renovations that the home may immediately require. It is difficult to foresee all these possible costs, so you should always look for a home that has a low enough price to leave you some wiggle room within your budget after you move in.

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on July 18, 2014

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