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With an average residential sales price of $159,000…
affordability is a definite bonus to home buyers as they seek to purchase that perfect home in Idaho Falls. So, what does $159,000 buy in Idaho Falls?
Let’s look at two options for the home buyer:
Option #1 is a brand new ranch-style spec home with 2,400 square feet, a 2-car garage, and a .25 acre lot. This home also has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, and laundry room, all on the main level. The basement is unfinished, with only stud walls and a concrete sub-floor. Outside, this Idaho Falls new home has a graded lot with no lawn and no sprinkler system. Our dry East Idaho climate makes a fully automatic sprinkler system a necessity to most Idaho Falls home buyers.
Option #2 is a 25-year old ranch-style home in Idaho Falls with 2,800 square feet fully finished. This home sits on a .25 acre lot with mature lawn, trees, and full automatic sprinkler system. Inside are 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a 2-car garage. The living room and kitchen are on the main level, with the laundry in the basement. Also in the basement is a family room with a wood-burning fireplace. Fireplaces are a popular feature in homes in Idaho Falls, due to our quite cold East Idaho winters.
Buying Idaho Falls real estate is an exercise in trade-offs. As illustrated in these two home buying options, the home buyer can purchase a larger home with more finished square footage and mature landscaping if they are prepared to live in an older home.
The home buyer that is committed to purchasing a brand new home must be prepared to live in a smaller home with no landscaping. When one studies the Idaho Falls real estate market, either option is a great choice, it just depends on what is most important to the home buyer!
“ Chalmers was great at listening to what I was looking for in a house and trying to find houses that met that criteria. He would also take note of what I like and did not like when looking at houses to add to that list. I appreciated his honest advice and expertise when it came time to make an offer. He has a great feel for the market in the Idaho Falls area. I would highly recommend Chalmers if you are looking to purchase a home. ” –Jessica B.
As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home.
Get pre-approved. Sub-primes may be history, but you’ll probably still be shown homes you can’t actually afford. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history. By doing a thorough analysis of your actual spending power, you’ll be less likely to get in over your head.
Choose your mortgage carefully. Used to be the emphasis when it came to mortgages was on paying them off as soon as possible. Today, the debt the average person will accumulate due to credit cards, student loans, etc. means it’s better to opt for the 30-year mortgage instead of the 15-year. This way, you have a lower monthly payment, with the option of paying an additional principal when money is good. Additionally, when picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points (a portion of the interest that you pay at closing) in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you plan to stay in the house for a long time—and given the current real estate market, you should—taking the points will save you money.
Do your homework before bidding. Before you make an offer on a home, do some research on the sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood with sites like Zillow. Consider especially sales of similar homes in the last three months. For instance, if homes have recently sold for 5 percent less than the asking price, your opening bid should probably be about 8 to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.