Buying the Best: Homes

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email

We're motivated, we're determined, and we're frugal. In our tough economy, saving money is key—but is it always safe to save? When dealing with homes, it's best *not to scrimp on money.

Gina Grant of James Grant Realty says without a realtor, you could fall victim to scams.

"People that don't use realtors, a lot of times run into headaches. Sometimes they end up in lawsuits,” Grant explained.

Realtors shield sellers from complicated transactions.

Grant said, “You don't have to worry about spending those advertising dollars, which can be very expensive. I mean, marketing is probably the most expensive thing that we do.”

Real estate agents meet appraisers, handle contracts, and coordinate mortgages.

Dothan resident, Tiffany General suggested, "If you're going to make a large purchase like that, you want to make sure you investment is worthwhile and that it won't bite you in the end.”

For buyers, they're guidance—walking them through the minefield of a transaction.

“We basically hold their hand during the entire transaction. If we list their home, then we do all the marketing for them. We keep in touch with them,” said Grant.

And, they’re free.

Grant said, “It does not cost you anything. If you're a buyer, then you're going to get that experience and knowledge that a realtor has.”

Grant said now interest rates are low, and when the housing market is booming, so is the economy.

“When real estate's good, people are going to be out eating at restaurants, they're going to be at the malls, buying clothes,” explained Grant.

Passing up home warranties, roof inspections, or appraisals can cheat you money, instead of save.

“There are a lot of hidden problems in a home and if you have an inspector he can point it out to you,” said Else McPeak, a Dothan resident.

Termite inspections cost between $300 and $500. Scrimp out now and watch your funds dwindle as you cough up $9,000 to reframe your house. McPeak said it’s worth spending the money.

Grant explained, “If you choose to skip out on that money, and you move in, and all of a sudden your air conditioner goes bad, you have plumbing problems, you have a leak somewhere, then all you're going to be able to do is say darn.”

At the end of the day, it's going to be money well spent.


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