Four Tips to Help you Through the Home Buying Process

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The home buying process can be overwhelming. Not only is this one of the biggest purchases that you will make in your life, but it is a place that you will call home for many years. Because this is one of the biggest decisions of your life, it is important to put a considerable amount of time and thought into it. Avoid choosing the first house you view and keep these house buying tips in mind during the shopping process.

Set a minimum number of houses to view
It is possible that you could find the perfect house in the first or second one that you view. However, you still want to see what else is on the market. You cannot make a realistic offer if you do not know the comparable properties currently on the market. Set a minimum number of houses to view. Make sure you view at least this many houses, before putting in an offer. Many agents are able to show you multiple houses in one day, so you usually still have time to put in an offer on that first property, if you still want to.

Create a list of requirements and desires ahead of time
Looking at houses can quickly change your requirement list. When you see that antique deep soaking tub, for example, you might be tempted to ignore the fact that the property only has two bedrooms, when you wanted three. This is why it so important to create a list of requirements before ever viewing a property. This list of requirements can also help your realtor send you properties that fit your housing needs. These needs should be organized into two categories, requirements, and desires. Your housing requirements are must haves and your agent should only show you properties that have these characteristics. Your desires are things that would be nice but are not necessarily required. The houses you view may or may not have these housing characteristics.

Consider alternative housing situations
You will also want to let your realtor know if you want to see any alternative living situations. These include condos, homeowners associations, and townhouses. Recently, there has been an increase in condo and townhouse living because of the added amenities. Millennials tend to enjoy the idea of homeownership, but do not enjoy the idea of keeping up with things like lawn care and snow removal. According to Zillow, 20% of buyers seek to purchase a townhouse.

Another alternative living option is a new build. While the majority of houses for sale on the market are previously lived in houses, there has been an increase in new houses and luxury real estate. According to Zillow, nearly half (48%) of buyers look for homes that have never been lived in. About 34% of recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity, both repairs that can be very expensive. Make sure you inform your agent if you are interested in only new homes.

Keep your budget in mind
It is also extremely important to keep your real estate budget in mind when looking at real estate properties. While you might want something a little bigger, never stretch your budget to a price that you can?t afford. Remember that this is something you will be paying on for potentially the next 30 years, so always keep your budget in mind. Only spend on items that you find necessary, such as enough bedrooms or increased living space.

While the real estate buying process can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming and stressful for some. Finding the right house to call home for the next many years is a big decision, both emotionally and financially. Make sure you put enough attention and thought into the decision and choose a property that fits all of your living needs.

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