One of the biggest challenges facing home buyers today is affordability. In particular, some coastal markets have seen a rapid rise in housing prices, making it difficult for house hunters to afford the kind of homes they may want or need. This hurts their ability to buy, despite historically low rates and a generally favorable lending environment. So, how can you maximize your limited resources and even get more home for less money? According to a recent Realtor.com article, here are 6 ways you may be able to get more bang for your buck during your home buying journey:Look for “stale” listings. Just like that loaf of bread that has sat on the counter too long, some home listings (for a variety of reasons) take a long time to move. But this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the home, and the smart buyer will see this as an invitation to negotiate price with a motivated seller.
Don’t overlook the “granny” home. Although it might be a bit of a shock at first, these live-in time capsules full of shag carpet, pink tile, and floral wallpaper can obscure a potential bargain. While other sellers want everything updated before they move in, remember that you pay a premium for that. If you are willing to put in some of your own sweat, you’ll find tearing wallpaper, and replacing carpet and tile is easier than you think.
Renovate. If you’ve got imagination and are willing to endure some construction in your living space, this can be a great option. There’s even specific financing tools available, like a FHA 203(k) loan, which allows you to wrap renovation costs into the mortgage.
Get in on the ground floor. Planning on buying a new home? Talk with the builder as early in the process as you can and you might have the opportunity to negotiate things like larger floor plans, or at least one that better fits your needs.
Get a roommate (or two). This route could do potentially do more than anything to maximize space, although it’s definitely not for everyone (how much do you like your mother-in-law?). If you’re willing to share space with a family member or other roommate, having that additional income could make available a host of homes that were previously far out of reach.
Widen your search. Although you may have your heart set on a particular neighborhood or area of town, if you’re willing to expand that search grid by just a few miles, you may find you’ll get more house for your money.
For more home buying advice, check out the original post on Realtor.com.