Editor’s note: This segment originally aired Jan. 31, 2012.
One of the things we often overlook here in the United States is how great the housing stock has been.
I’ve had the great fortune to visit Japan three times. Amazingly, one of world’s wealthiest countries has the lousiest housing you have ever seen! I recall being in Osaka with my wife and looking at the residences thinking, “How could this be?” People live in awful houses or ugly apartment buildings that are characterized by tiny spaces, many of them with ceilings just a little more than 6″ tall.
Talk about bleak, dreary housing!
Then I think about this HGTV show called House Hunters International that shows people going house-hunting abroad and trying to decide among three houses. Each time, it’s like ugly, uglier, ugliest!
Again, we don’t realize how great the housing stock is in the U.S., nor how lucky we have been with the space we have and the way we live in our homes. It’s extraordinary compared to any other place on Earth.
MoneyTalkNews.com recently ran a report slamming House Hunters International because it doesn’t show anything about financing, negotiation or even people looking at more than three houses. What it does is just cater to the fantasy of, ‘Wow, what if I just picked up and moved to…?’
Anytime you’re buying a home, be sure to do the following:
- Check your credit before you start.
- Pre-qualify for a loan so you can know your price target.
- Look at 100 houses, online at least. Visit 20 homes in person.
- See my Tips for First-Time Homebuyers for more suggestions.