To buy a house ? Don’t base your decision solely on the list

There’s a reason millennials struggle to buy homes. Many entered the housing market already burdened with debt. And now they are struggling with record house prices.

Of course, the latter is not unique to millennials. Rather, all buyers are put in a position where they may need to stretch their budget to buy their own home.

But there is one decision that millennials in particular are ready to make in light of the current housing market. And it’s a decision that could really backfire.

A risk not worth taking

in a new survey by Real Estate Witch, 90% of millennials said they would buy a home without seeing it. Since homes are selling at such a rapid rate these days, millennial buyers may be willing to make an offer on a home based solely on a listing — without actually going to see that home in person.

If you’re considering going this route, you might want to reconsider this choice. The real estate listings you see online are designed to present homes in the most favorable light. Real estate agents are experts at putting together lists, so much so that they know all the tricks to making small spaces look bigger and outdated homes look more modern.

As such, the impression you get from an online listing may not accurately reflect the condition of the home you are looking to buy. And if you go ahead anyway, you might end up regretting your purchase if your home is more cramped or dated than you wanted.

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But that’s not the only risk of buying a house without seeing it in person. You also might not spot expensive repairs that could eat into your budget and force you to either loot your savings account or, even worse, indebted lands.

Imagine buying a home at the high end of your price range and having little financial room left after paying your mortgage each month. If your home turns out to be in need of repairs — repairs you weren’t aware of because you never marked off that space in person — then you could be in really bad financial trouble.

SPRING COMES EARLY FOR THE HOUSING MARKET: House prices are skyrocketing at the start of this year. Here’s why.

Don’t just rely on real estate ads

Even if you watch a real estate listing that comes with a video tour, it’s still not advisable to make an offer on a home or go ahead with a purchase without visiting that space and seeing it live. And even if you’re worried that waiting to schedule a viewing means you can’t buy that home, it’s a risk you’ll have to take.

Plus, if you’re tempted to bid on a house out of sight because the listing price is attractive, that alone should serve as a red flag in today’s market. Real estate inventory is extremely limited these days and homes are selling for higher than usual prices across the country.

If most homes in the neighborhood you want are listed at around $500,000 and you see a listing online for a comparably sized home for $425,000, that’s reason enough to step back. And it’s definitely not the type of home you’d want to bid on without seeing it in person.

It’s great that technology can help you narrow down your choices when you’re in the middle of a home search. But don’t make an offer based on a listing alone. The next home you buy could be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, and you can’t afford not to see it in person.

HIDDEN GEMS: Housing markets where prices are low – for now

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