PREPARATION AIDS HOME SHOPPERS
Buying a home? These eight tips may help make your house-hunting experience positive and rewarding.
1. Location Counts.
You've probably heard the old real estate joke about "location, location, location" but the point still bears repeating.
Location is crucial. Even a picture-perfect dream home can be a mistake if its in an undesirable location, and a poor-location
home can be a particularly bad choice if you anticipate reselling it with in a few years.
2. Make a list.
Do you really know what you need and want in your home? You'll save yourself many hours of shopping if you make a list
ahead of time. Zero in on the features you must have, would like to have, definitely don't want and would prefer not to have.
Tip: Start compiling you wish list by thinking about what you like and dislike about your current home.
3. Do your homework.
Not long ago, consumers had very little access to information about recent home sales prices, market trends, homes on the
market, neighborhood statistics and the home-buying process. Get educated.
4. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Your top-dollar home price is a function of your household income, your creditworthiness, interest rates, the type of loan
you select, and how much ready cash you have for the down payment and closing costs, among other factors. Rather than guessing
how much you can afford to spend, ask a lender or mortgage broker to give you a full assessment and a letter stating how much
you're qualified to borrow.
5. Use a checklist.
Touring multiple homes can be confusing. Rather than relying on memory make notes about the homes you visit. Turn your
priorities into a personalized home-shopping checklist and use it to track the features of each home.
6. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes.
House-hunting can be tiring. Dont torture your feet unnecessarily.
7. Be prepared to make an offer.
House-hunting can be frustrating, especially if you know in your heart you're not really ready to buy a home. If you're
not ready, don't put yourself through the exercise. If you are ready, look at the blank purchase contract ahead of time so
you'll know what you'll face when you make an offer.
Granted, buying a home is a major life-altering event. But its not worth making yourself crazy or stressed. Save time at
the end of your house-hunting expedition to unwind, calm your thoughts and emotions, and keep the whole experience in perspective.