Before You Buy
5 top things you should know before you buy:

1.  What’s your budget?

First and foremost, you should know how much a lender will allow you to qualify for.  You should also have a budget of what you can really afford above what the lender calculates.  When qualifying you for a home loan, the lender does not factor in real world expenses such as child care, groceries, recreational spending or utilities.  Do your financial homework first!

2.  Where do you want to live?

Get to know the school districts and areas of town you are considering.  School districts and location drive real estate value more than just about anything else.  Before the fun of house hunting begins, there is homework to be done to seek out and plan where you want to be and if the schools and their proximity are acceptable to you.

3.  Are you thinking 5 years ahead?

Even if you think this will be your “one and only home”, it is important to keep real estate in mind.  As you move into different stages of life, you may find that you will out-grow your current home.  Think babies or empty-nesters!  Always look at what the future buyer of your new home might look for and take that into consideration before you buy.

4.  What is the condition of the property?

Once you have found the right home, you’ll want to know its workings both inside and out.  The home may be beautiful but you’ll want to have an inspector take a look to uncover any potential or existing problems that may not be initially obvious.

5.  Does the home fit into your lifestyle?

No matter what type of housing you choose, you must have a clear idea of your expected lifestyle.  Love charming century homes?  Sooner or later, the charm of that 100 year old house will give way to a slew of required improvements that may see you spending your weekends renovating instead of relaxing.  Be realistic about the amount of time and effort needed to maintain your selected home and whether or not this will fit into your desired lifestyle and stage of life…not just now but in the future.

Even if this is not your first home buying experience, you will want to get help from a team of professionals.  Having the help of professionals will give you access to the experienced and knowledgeable people your need for reliable information and guidance to your questions.