Tips for Buying

Deciding how much you can afford to spend on your new home is only the beginning when it comes to a home purchase. You also need to make important decisions on what you want in a home, what market you’ll be shopping in, as well as finding a real estate agent. Let’s look at each of these.

1. Decide What You Want

Now that you have had some time to consider these factors, draw up a list of things you would like to have in your new home.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Where do I want to live?
  • What style of home do I prefer?
  • How many bedrooms does my family need?
  • Do I want a garage?

The list should then be broken down into items which are absolutely essential, and those that would be nice to have, but you could live without.

2. Check Out The Market

The next step should be to take a few days to get acquainted with the market. Take a look at the real estate listings posted in the paper, or weekly real estate publications. This will give you a good idea of the price range for homes in the area you are considering. Drive around the areas you like to get a better feel for them. Perhaps taking advantage of a few open houses will give you a better idea as to what you want in a home.

3. Find An Agent

Now you should also be considering finding a real estate agent to help you with your search. Friends or co-workers may be able to refer you to an agent or you may prefer to deal with the agent whose sign is on a property you’re interested in. Person to person contact with the agent will help you decide if this agent is right for you. Are they asking the right questions to know what you need and what you can afford? Do you feel comfortable with the agent? Keep in mind that a home purchase is likely to be the most significant financial decision you will make. It is important that you are comfortable with the process of finding a home as well as the actual decision to purchase.

See our sheet of Questions to Ask when deciding on a home to purchase, and review our Home Buying Checklist to compare properties you are interested in.