Negotiate Your Best House Buy

2046  W Sunset Dr,  Visalia, listed at $589,000.
By: G. M. Filisko

Keep your emotions in check and your eyes on the goal, and you'll pay less when purchasing a home.

Buying a home can be emotional, but negotiating the price shouldn't be. The key to saving money when purchasing a home is sticking to a plan during the turbulence of high-stakes negotiations. A real estate agent who represents you can guide you and offer you advice, but you are the one who must make the final decision during each round of offers and counter offers.

Here are six tips for negotiating the best price on a home.

1. Get prequalified for a mortgage

Getting prequalified for a mortgage proves to sellers that you're serious about buying and capable of affording their home. That will push you to the head of the pack when sellers choose among offers; they'll go with buyers who are a sure financial bet, not those whose financing could flop.

2. Ask questions

Ask your agent for information to help you understand the sellers' financial position and motivation. Are they facing foreclosure or a short sale? Have they already purchased a home or relocated, which may make them eager to accept a lower price to avoid paying two mortgages? Has the home been on the market for a long time, or was it just listed? Have there been other offers? If so, why did they fall through? The more signs that sellers are eager to sell, the lower your offer can reasonably go.

3. Work back from a final price to determine your initial offer

Know in advance the most you're willing to pay, and with your agent work back from that number to determine your initial offer, which can set the tone for the entire negotiation. A too-low bid may offend sellers emotionally invested in the sales price; a too-high bid may lead you to spend more than necessary to close the sale.

Work with your agent to evaluate the sellers' motivation and comparable home sales to arrive at an initial offer that engages the sellers yet keeps money in your wallet.

4. Avoid contingencies

Sellers favor offers that leave little to chance. Keep your bid free of complicated contingencies, such as making the purchase conditional on the sale of your current home. Do keep contingencies for mortgage approval, home inspection, and environmental checks typical in your area, like radon.

Undeveloped acreage with potential

Undeveloped property in Visalia with potential.
Undeveloped 5.72 acre parcel which has been split from the front parcel of an old home.

E Douglas Ave,  Visalia, listed at $97,500.

To the north of the parcel, along Tracy Street, is a small subdivision with homes.

Call Darlene Loose today. (559) 625-9364

Don't-Miss Home Tax Breaks

By: Dona DeZube

From the mortgage interest deduction to energy tax credits, here are the tax tips you need to get a jump on your returns.

  • Mortgage interest deduction
  • Private mortgage insurance deduction
  • Prepaid interest deduction
  • Energy tax credits
  • Vacation or second home tax deductions
  • Home buyer tax credit repayment
  • Property tax deduction
  • Mortgage interest deduction
One of the neatest deductions itemizing home owners can take advantage of is the mortgage interest deduction, which you claim on Schedule A. To get the mortgage interest deduction, your mortgage must be secured by your home — and your home can even be a house trailer or boat, as long as you can sleep in it, cook in it, and it has a toilet.

Interest you pay on a mortgage of up to $1 million — or $500,000 if you’re married filing separately — is deductible when you use the loan to buy, build, or improve your home.

If you take on another mortgage (including a second mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit) to improve your home or to buy or build a second home, that counts towards the $1 million limit.

If you use loans secured by your home for other things — like sending your kid to college — you can still deduct the interest on loans up $100,000 ($50,000 for married filing separately) because your home secures the loan.

PMI and FHA mortgage insurance premiums

Helpfully, the government extended the mortgage insurance premium deduction through 2013. You can deduct the cost of private mortgage insurance as mortgage interest on Schedule A — meaning you must itemize your return. The change only applies to loans taken out in 2007 or later.

Updated 4 bedroom home with pool and covered patio

2707  S Stevenson St,  Visalia, listed at $169,900.
Imagine living in an established neighborhood with re-modeled pool and home.

So much is updated: Composition roof (2003), Fresh Ext Paint (2013), Interior Paint (2011), Carpet and tile flooring (2011), 2-inch blinds (2011), MSBR Tile at Shower/Vanity (2011), Kitchen Tile Counter top/back splash 2013.

This warm home has Central Heating and Cooling plus evaporative cooler.

This is a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1,708 square-foot home with living and family rooms that flow into the dining room.

Fenced pool with small grass area, concrete on sides of home so low maintenance.

Nice front deck with lattice cover. Newer garage door and opener too. Great value!!

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364