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Can someone help me figure out how much to offer on a home?

Hello! I am helping my mother buy a renovated duplex in Lynden WA. We are both new to this. The home was built in 1939 and turned into a duplex in 2007. Total square footage is 2100 sq/st. They are asking $259,900. How do I know how much it is worth and how much to offer. I would like to buy it for max $230,000 but I do not want to lose the chance of getting it.

Thanks!
  • February 11 2011 - US
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Answers (8)

You are not alone many homebuyers want a house that is priced right and want to put in an offer before it is off the market.

First: Take your time and think this through. If this house is for you then things will work for you.

Second: This house was built in 1939 so you are dealing with Lead based paint issues. What this means is that any time you do renovations such as painting, tiling then you and your contractor must follow the local building code. If you are renting and do renovations without following the proper procedures you could put your tenants and their children at risk and they may sue for damages.

Call you local EPA office for MA at 1-888-372-7341 or www.epa.gov/lead

Third: Like my peers stated enlist a dream team. Get an agent, inspector and a certified risk assessor to help you lay out the pros and cons for this home purchase.

Forth: If your gut tells you know then walk away.





  • February 12 2011
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ofeer $230,000 !!
  • February 12 2011
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I would offer $220,000 and negotiate your way up to your max of $230,000. You never know what their bottom line might be.
I am just answering the question, everyone else is giving good advice about contacting a Realtor. Because the home might only be worth $210,000.
Good Luck
  • February 12 2011
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Profile picture for SteadyState
Dunes is right. The REAs jump to inform you that you must find a competent agent in your neighborhood first. However, how will you know that:
1. He/she is competent? This requires you to become informed about local conditions, local trends, and inventory
2. He/she is actually doing a good job? -There is always potential for human error. In real estate there is potential for conflict also - buyer agents who actually work for the seller, close ties between agents and mortgage brokers, close ties between buyer agents and seller agents, close ties between agents and inspectors, estimators, etc. It's somewhat of a mine field.

Some  things to do:

1. Monitor this board for a couple of weeks regularly and read the articles on buying a home
2. Read some introductory articles on home buying posted on this board
3. Regularly visit this site and other homes for sale sites to determine what people are listing similar homes for and the price actually being sold
4. Visit craigslist.org and try to identify rents for comparable properties
5. Use the new york times rent vs. buy calculator and ensure you are not overpaying for your property.

It's some work and it is not easy. But remember, this will likely be your most expensive investment. Be prudent.
  • February 12 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
YOU need to become informed about your Local Market, the Purchasing Process and what your MOTHER can actually afford before participating in committing her in any way to a Quarter of a Million Dollar Business Transaction..



  • February 12 2011
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Contact local Realtor as stated below.  They will perform an analysis of local market, with your possible purchase as target property.  Will give you an estimate of what the market says about what comparable homes are selling for.

Dont bid too low, as it will insult the seller, and may hinder negotiations in the future.

Hope this helps
  • February 12 2011
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Shayne is right, your best option is to find a good local Realtor. The Realtor will make a study of the actual sale price of similar properties and provide you with a good estimate of price. Then you can bid slightly below this price (about 5% below) to start the negotiation.

You also need to take into account how desirable is the property and how much you want this particular property. Ask the Realtor if it is likely that there will be more than one bid.

Bank owned properties have less negotiating room than privately owned properties keep this into account.

Time is also of the essence, bid quickly.
  • February 12 2011
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You need to find a good Realtor.  They can tell you what the bottom line is.  The asking price already includes fees for the buyer's Realtor, so you need to find you a good local one that really knows what things are worth in your area.  Best wishes.
  • February 11 2011
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