The bubble has popped, or so the media says, but does that mean that real estate is now a bad investment? Not necessarily. In the last couple decades you would have been well advised to do your homework before you bought, but you probably could have ignored that advice and still done ok. Now it’s absolutely essential that you do the research before your purchase or you could be stuck with a home that’s overpriced and no one wants to buy.
The first thing to really research is your real estate agent. You not only want to find an agent that you can trust and who you feel is looking out for your best interests, but you’ll want to find an agent that has more than personality and heart, you need one who is very good at what they do and who knows their market like no one else.
Research your own market. Don’t rely on the real estate agent to do all the work, you have your best interests at heart and if you want to make some good business deals you have to become a good businessman or woman. Learn about the housing market in your area, the value of homes, the school districts and anything else that may interest future prospective buyers.
Find a banker and determine where you stand. You want to have a well respected, knowledgeable banker who will give you an honest assessment of what you can afford. In fact, a pre-qualification is probably a good idea so you, your realtor, and the seller know where you stand and how much you can afford.
If you treat your investments like a business then you’re more likely to win in the long run.