Finding Your New Home

Dated: 03/18/2016

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Finding Your Dream Home

A house is a major purchase and a significant investment. For many, it is the single most expensive purchase they will ever make and carries financial implications that will last a lifetime. It can be a difficult and stressful undertaking. Finding your dream home will be easier if you keep these suggestions in mind:

Before You Start To Look

If two people are purchasing the home together, it is important to discuss all issues completely before starting to look: style of home, age, location, budget, down to the smallest detail. Negotiating compromises before you buy costs nothing. Resolving differences in expectation after purchase could cost money.

Find the neighborhood or district that you would love to live in but have some other locations in mind in case your perfect spot is too costly or there simply is not the right house in the right location.

Be realistic. Consider how much you can afford, not what a lender says you can afford. It is not necessary to buy at the top of your price range.

Conducting the House Hunt

Find a real estate agent you can work with. This might turn out to be a long and stressful relationship if the process does not go well. Make sure you can communicate effectively before you sign anything.

Search online with caution. The days of the Multiple Listing Service books are long gone, replaced by online databases. As with anything else on the internet, outdated, incorrect or even fraudulent information is possible. Work closely with your realtor to avoid these pitfalls.

Consider your needs reasonably. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you love to cook or will you mostly just use your kitchen to make coffee? Will you entertain and have large extended family gatherings or will the house be a ‘crash pad’ in which to sleep and do laundry?

Think into the future. Is this a home for the long haul or a ‘starter home’ until you advance your career or have children? Of course life can change in the blink of an eye, but have at least a general idea of how long you expect to live in the house.

What are you willing to compromise on? Will you put up with traffic noise in order to be able to walk to shopping and restaurants? If you want the peace and quiet of the countryside are you willing to drive 5 miles to buy a gallon of milk?

Be prepared to focus on the things that cannot be changed. Do not walk into a house and decide that you do not like the color of the living room or the flooring. Look beyond the cosmetic and at the things that cannot be changed – location, orientation and exposure, the size of the lot.

After You Have Found a Property

Don’t skimp on inspections. Look for and work with a professional home inspector. It may be the smartest investment you make. It is perfectly fine to buy a house that needs work; this can be a good way to build equity quickly and some people enjoy the challenge. However, you should have a very realistic idea of what is needed and at least a general estimate of what it will cost.

 Buying your home can be nerve-wracking. It is also extremely rewarding to have a space of your own to live in and love. Conduct your home search with care, thought and planning and you will have the happiest of endings.

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Shelia Rejas

For almost a decade I have been serving the real estate community. I am member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Association of REALTORS® and the National association of REALTORS®.I am a Military Reloca....

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