In a perfect world, every teacher would live a few minutes away from their school. Having proximity to the school makes it easy to get to and from work, as well as form strong relationships with the school community. However, the salaries that most teachers receive every month are often a hindrance to finding such homes for teachers.
It might be tough to find a home that is both affordable and close to work. However, it isn’t impossible to find the ideal home. It all trickles down to the right level of research.
Here is how to buy a great home on a teacher’s salary:
Spend Some Time Shopping For the Ideal House
When looking for a home, you are likely to find a fancy one that catches your eye. However, most of these homes might be above your budget. While saving for the home might still pay off, the chances are that there are better ones out there that can match it.
Be open to looking for other homes. It would help if you searched for alternatives within online listings, from friends, and realtors too. You might be surprised to find companies that offer discounts to specific demographics that choose to buy a home through them. For instance, Our service members program at Transition Realty offers a 25% discount for teachers and service members that use their services.
Visit the Home
More often than not, homes for teachers within a low price range come with some form of defect. While some will have a leaking roof, others might have trivial flaws like mold on their closet walls. Sadly, these are flaws that you might not notice by looking at the home behind a laptop screen.
Take some time to visit the neighborhood in which the home is located. You can visit after heavy rains to identify flood maps or any other form of rain damage. If you feel that the home tickles your fancy, take the first step by having it inspected before starting the formal purchase process. However, you can always make compromises for flaws that are easy to fix.
Build Your Credit Score
A good credit score will be your number one friend when it comes to finding an affordable mortgage. Not only does this make it easy to match the asking price of your dream home, but it also makes sure that you can save some cash on your monthly repayments. Building your credit score to an ideal level will, however, require some financial responsibility on your side.
To build a solid credit score, you ought to pay your bills on time (this includes loan repayments). You also need to hold on to old credit accounts, have a healthy credit mix, and correct any wrong details on your credit report. If you are shopping for any loan, avoid hard inquiries, which can harm your credit score.
Avoid Bidding Wars
You might find an amazing home that catches your eye, though the competition for the home might be quite high. This competition results in bidding wars. The seller might make an offer that will be countered by other buyers. Ideally, you might have to raise your offer to ensure that you can land the home.
While winning the bidding war can be as easy as making the best offer, it can get out of hand very quickly. If you must engage in a bidding war, at least set a ceiling on the amount you are willing to spend on the home. For homes that seem to go past this price ceiling, it would be wise to walk away and look elsewhere.
Bid On Homes That Aren’t Selling
Buyers are known to stay away from homes that have been in the market for an extended period. The reasons behind the house not finding an owner might seem scary. However, this doesn’t mean that homes that aren’t selling always have defects. Sometimes, the issues might be something as small as a poor marketing strategy.
In other cases, the flaws in the homes might be trivial. If you can identify these flaws, you can convince the buyer to lower the asking price. For instance, you might discover that a home has issues with its paint job, which can be a small price to pay in lieu of a reduced asking price.
When buying such homes, however, you need to add a clause in the contract that states that the sale is contingent on a satisfactory home inspection. If you find any hidden defects, you can work on ways to resolve them with the seller. They can pay for them upfront or reduce the asking price.
Finding homes for teachers will require you to commit to research as well as work on raising your credit score. It also trickles down to the team of professionals you work with during your research, from real estate businesses to lenders. Take your time when it comes to shopping for your ideal home to find one that is not only convenient for your job but also budget-friendly.
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About Transition Realty
Transition Realty owner Steve Lehmeyer specializes in helping people manage real estate transactions in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. His experience in the Minnesota real estate market spans 20 years. Steve and his team work with clients to buy & sell single-family homes, townhouses, condos, lake homes, and investment property. Download a free home search app for your smartphone or search the MLS at TransitionRealty.com.