How to get the best deal on acreage real estate around Salem Oregon
Nobody wants to pay too much for a house these days. With all of the advertised “deals” out there, how does one know what is truly a “good deal?” And what is the process of buying that good deal to make sure there aren’t any surprises later?
You need to start by answering the question “what is a good deal to me?” What is it you are specifically looking for? Are you looking for flat farmland or a couple of wooded acres for privacy? Are you looking for a large home with several bedrooms or a small cabin? Do you need a covered arena or a machine shop? Do you need a home that is move in ready or would you prefer to buy something that you can work on yourself? Clearly identifying your wants and needs, and then sharing them with your buyer agent puts everyone on the same page. It doesn’t make any sense to buy a house on 1 acre just because it is a “good deal” if you have 5 cows and 2 horses and you really want 10 acres.
Ok, now that we know what kind of Oregon acreage you need we can get to work! Have your agent search for any properties that fit your criteria and give them a list of properties you have found on line that you would like to see as well. Set an appointment to view the properties. You will start to get a feel for what properties are like in any given price range. If there are are 1-2 properties that appeal to you, have your agent prepare a market analysis on each one. This will give you a snap shot of the current market in that area. If your agent can not find any recently sold comparables at or above the current asking price of the property you have your eye on, odds are that the sellers are asking too much. Your agent will be able to make adjustments for property differences such as the size and condition of home, number of acres and existence of barns or other out buildings.
The next layer of protection for you will be during the inspection stage. After you have an accepted offer, various inspections will be scheduled. The full home inspection will give you a detailed picture of the condition of the home including the roof, crawl space/basement, electrical, plumbing, heating etc. I am sure you would like to know before you complete your purchase if the heating system is bad and you will need to spend $10,000 to install a new one. Similar headaches can be avoided with well purity and flow tests, septic inspections and boundary surveys. Finding out that you don’t have enough water to take a shower or fill the horse’s water trough could end up costing you $10k-$25k or worse, NEVER having enough water to run your house and barn. Talk about a “bad deal.”
Doing a little homework at the county planning department can also uncover a few surprises. Perhaps the seller, or previous seller, never pulled permits when they built a new addition. While this may not be a deal breaker, you will at least know up front so you can make informed decisions. Investigate the property around the home you are interested in as well. Perhaps someone has applied to develop the property next door. You will only find this out from the planning department or if the current seller discloses this to you. While the seller is required to disclose this information to you, they may not know about it yet if the neighbor just put in their application and the public notices have not been sent out yet.
One misconception is that foreclosures and short sales are always a good deal. Often times the homes are pretty “used” and require a lot of clean up, updating or repairs. If you want to just move right in, this might not be the best deal for you. Also, many banks (or financially pinched short sellers) will not pay for well flow tests, septic inspections and or pay for agreed upon repairs. Which leaves you as the buyer to pay for these items up front BEFORE you even own the house. This could be extremely risky. If the loan does not close, you may have just payed to put on a new roof for a house you don’t own. Ouch!