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Home Buying Do’s and Don’ts

Do research the neighborhood.

Look at the house, but also look at the neighborhood. Location is the most important thing, so it’s critical to look at more than bricks and mortar. How can you choose the right community? Become a neighborhood detective. Figure out what you’re looking for, do research and find a neighborhood that fits your description.

Do look at several houses before you buy.

Buying the first house you look at it is kind of like marrying the first person you go on a date with — not necessarily a good idea. If you buy a home without comparing it to other listings in the area, you’re likely to overpay or miss out on a great nearby home. Walk through at least three homes before you choose. If you still love the first one you saw, make an offer!

Do Invest In A Professional Inspector.

Sellers don’t always know every possible thing that has happened to the home over it’s life. Sometimes these houses have had many owners with much upgrading over the years by each different owner or a one owner home and they haven’t done work for many years.

Home inspectors can look beyond the fresh coat of paint to find costly underlying problems. Hire an experienced professional — it will save you time, money and possible house-induced heartache later on.

Do buy based on needs, not wants.

The average American lives in the same home for about 5-7 years, so it’s crucial to consider your long-term and short term needs when buying a home. A 2-bedroom house with a gourmet kitchen may dazzle you today, but will you still be enamored down the road when your family starts to grow? Make a list of your needs and stick to it to avoid buyer’s remorse down the road.

Don’t buy a house for its decor.

A home might have gorgeous furnishings at the showing, but it needs to accommodate your furnishings and lifestyle after the sellers pack up their sofa. Look past a home’s decor and make sure the space will accommodate your lifestyle and furnishings. Are the spaces functional and efficient for your daily routine? You might love how a seller has transformed an extra bedroom into a crafting space, but will it be big enough for your twins’ bunk beds? Focus on the floor plan and the square footage to decide if a home is right for you.

Don’t trust everything you read in a real estate ad.

As with all marketing, it is the listing agent’s job to generate interest in the home and make you feel like it is the best house ever!  Your buyers agent will help you read between the lines, so you can be better prepared with what the home is offering. Like any ad, real estate classifieds are meant to pique your interest enough to make you take a closer look. Be a savvy buyer and decode the clever phrases sellers use to draw you in.

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