|4. Look at Homes
Steps to Home Ownership!
Some 6 million new and existing homes are sold each year.
There's no shortage of housing options, but with so many choices
the challenge becomes finding the property which best meets your
The housing market is complicated because the stock of homes
for sale is always in flux. If it were possible to have a
complete list of every home for sale at this very moment in a
given community, such a list would become obsolete within
seconds as new homes become available and properties now for
sale are put under contract.
In effect, buyers are looking at a moving target in a
marketplace that is never static. Because of this, it is
important to know as much as possible about the choices in
preferred markets, and the way to do that is by distinguishing
your needs form you wants. Houseaboutus consultants can discuss
this in more detail with you.
What are you looking for?
A home is more than just a collection of bedrooms and bathrooms.
Several properties -- each with four bedrooms, three baths, and
the same price -- may well represent radically different
designs, commuting distances, lot sizes, tax costs, interior
dimensions, and exterior finishes.
Each of us is different and so it's important to list the
features and benefits you want in a home. Consider such things
as pricing, location, size, amenities (extras such as a pool or
extra-large kitchen) and design (one floor or two, colonial or
Next, it's important to consider your priorities. If you
can't get a home at your price with all the features you want,
then what features are most important? For instance, would you
trade fewer bedrooms for a larger kitchen? A longer commute for
a bigger lot and lower cost?
Lastly, consider your needs in several years. If you'll need
a larger home, maybe now is the time to buy a bigger house
rather than moving or expanding in the future. If you expect
your income to increase, perhaps you should consider a more
expensive home financed with a loan program where monthly
payments increase in the future.
Where should you look?
All neighborhoods and communities have a special nature that
gives them identity and value. One community may be well known
for historic homes while another offers both suburban living as
well as easy access to downtown office areas.
How do you find a house?
Some buyers like
realtor.com.or other websites in your community, looking at
listings on the basis of location or price; others prefer to
have local real estate agents suggest properties; and many
buyers prefer both approaches.
Regardless of your choice, it's important to target your
search. By using basic measures such as general location and
affordability, you can refine your search and focus on homes
that offer the most desirable features.
As a guide, you should maintain a file with information on
each of the homes you like. You can print out listing pages and
then make notes for each one -- what you like, questions,
contact data, etc.