Searching For Your New Home
by Carla Hill
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
In order to get started in the right direction, it's paramount that you have a good idea for what you're looking. Make a wish list that includes everything from your neighborhood preferences and budget to housing amenities.
"What if I don't know what I want?" you ask. There are buyers out there that just aren't sure if they're in the market for a condo or a single-family home. They don't know if they want to be near downtown or out in the 'burbs. If this sounds like you, then your agent can be a big help.
They can show you a few different options, explaining the pros and cons of each. Hopefully, this preview session will help you make a firm decision on the direction you're headed.
Next, learn how to navigate your local MLS. In today's technology age, it's all about previewing a house online before you take the time to go on a showing. Just because a house meets the criteria you've set forth for your agent doesn't mean it's a house you'll want to see in person.
Realtor.com is a good place to start. They display all the listings for your area, searchable by bedrooms, square foots, bathrooms, zip codes, price range, and more.
Has your agent sent you listing info containing an MLS (Multiple Listing Service) number? You should be able to input that number on the MLS website to take you directly to that particular listing.
Better yet, have your agent sign you up for daily or weekly email updates. They can send you links to newly listed homes that fit within your given wish list criteria.
Finally, have an open mind. Some houses look stellar on paper (online). They appear to be your dream home. Once you see them in person, however, they simply don't measure up.
The opposite can be true for houses as well. A house may look shabby and run-down online (perhaps due to bad photos or bad decorating), but in person you realize the neighborhood is perfect and the house sturdy. All it needs are some cosmetic fixes.
Don't keep second guessing yourself. If from the beginning you have a solid plan on what you want, you'll be more likely to make a decisive move when the time comes. Waiting too long could mean losing out on a home you really want.
Being realistic about your wants and budget is a good way to make the house hunting process a whole lot smoother. Keep in mind that there may not be the perfect home, but there will be a home that is right for you.
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