When I advertise I no longer have a choice if someone's credit is OK.
With all the choices in today's market, how do you go about finding the right home? It seems the more research you do, the more alternatives you discover.
It's important to visualize your needs and plan ahead. "Know what you want in a home, what's important to you, and what you can live without," Julie Parrish, owner of JULIE PARRISH REALTY says. "Many of us start out with a champagne taste and a beer pocketbook, so it's important to be realistic," she adds.
Where and what you buy will affect you for as long as you live in the house. "Get your priorities in order before you start looking or even talk to a real estate broker or sales associate," Parrish says.
For first-time home buyers this is a new experience, so it's especially important to do your homework. If you currently own a home, you know exactly what's lacking. You may need another bedroom or bathroom, or a good school nearby.
First, decide where you want to live. A big part of the answer hinges on where and how you earn a living. If your job requires a lot of reading or is quite stressful, public transportation may offer valuable time to sit quietly. "Regardless, you should practice the commute in rush hour before you make a commitment. A seemingly quiet road can transform into gridlock during peak hours," Parrish cautions.
People with children have other major considerations: school and safety. If you plan to send your children to private schools, you can live where you want assuming you can easily arrange transportation. On the other hand, a lavish public school system may indicate high local real estate taxes. Check them out.
Obviously, lifestyle is an important consideration. People who frequently dine out, go dancing and attend the theater probably belong in the city or a close-in suburb. "In other words, make sure you're in close proximity to the things that matter most," Parrish says.
It used to be that homes came in a limited variety, but today, you have many choices. In addition to the traditional single-family home, you can buy a townhouse, condominium or apartment condominium or co-op.