Buying a home in the current market can be done easily and safely with proper planning and strategic thinking. Here are several home buying tips to help:
- Know what you can afford, and stick to it. This may seem like a no-brainer in the wake of recent sub-prime loan disasters and foreclosure reports, but time and again, shoppers have been known to fall in love with and buy homes beyond their means, taking inadvisable detours and shortcuts to purchase them.
- Know your personal priorities for a property, including features, layout and location.
- Choose a proven real estate agent who will respect all of the above in directing your search for a home to buy. The agent's values and personality should also make for a comfortable match with your own. Interviewing at least three agents before hiring one is the general industry recommendation.
- Shop for a home during seasons that offer buyer advantage, such as the dog days of late summer and the slower-paced winter season (vacation communities may have different sales cycles, so check into the local scene before scheduling your shopping trip).
- Do your research before bidding on and buying a home. This can include everything from arranging a professional appraisal to testing a potential commute to getting to know the priorities and personalities of the sellers. The current market may seem largely in your favor, but don't be tempted to rush. You'll be far happier buying a home if you've taken the time to make a solid investment choice.
With these helpful tips, buying a home can be a rewarding experience and a worthwhile investment you'll enjoy for years to come.