For first-time homebuyers, the whole home buying process may be a bit scary. You are about to make what could be the biggest purchase of your life with little or no experience. The good news is that a little preparation will help you making this major decision with confidence.
Many things have changed in recent decades about the way homes are sold and bought, but one factor never changed: location, location, location.
And thatís where your research should start: deciding exactly where you want to live because you do not want to make the wrong choice.
Drive around in the daytime as well as the night time, visit restaurants and stores and talk to neighbors in areas youíd consider calling home. Talk to friends and possibly co-workers and of course view several houses. Compare homes on the Internet, evaluate style, size, price and how long they are on the market.
Find a Real Estate Agent who handles the area you are interested in,
If youíre a buyer, there is no reason not to use a Real Estate Agent. As the buyer it costs you nothing, and the agentís job goes way beyond finding your perfect home. In fact, itís after youíve found the house that you will need the agent most, both to structure and present the offer and then to iron out possible problems that arise between contract and closing.
A good Agent can also help you put together an offer that will be accepted. Properties are usually selling below the asking price, but in some areas itís actually a sellerís market, in which case homes can actually sell above asking price.
You also have to be realistic about what you can afford, especially if youíre on a first-time buyerís budget. Know that most likely you wonít find everything on your Dream home wish list. If you find 70 percent of what youíre looking for, youíre doing pretty good.
NEXT: 12 must-know tips for everything from finding a real estate agent to prepping your finances
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