April 18, 2011 9:43 am
By Barbara Pronin, RISMedia Columnist
RISMEDIA, April 18, 2011-So you've saved up some money, worked on your credit score and diligently kept track of the marketplace. But buying a home remains the single most important financial decision most people will make, and what's most important in a home for one family may not fill the bill for another.
If you think it's time to get serious about choosing a home and buying, here are five tips from the National Association of REALTORS to help you settle on the right home for you:
Know what you want Write down the housing characteristics that are most important to you. Is it the number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms? Overall condition? Proximity to shopping, schools or public transportation? As you house shop, keep a careful list of the pros and cons of every house you see.
Browse online first There are many websites that list homes for sale. Browsing online will help you compare neighborhoods, price ranges, trends and characteristics that you should know before you get in your car.
Work with a pro A real estate professional will represent your best interests, and can make a real difference in locating your dream home, negotiating the price and working with you through the closing process. Get recommendations from friends and choose a full-time agent with a good website and experience in your neighborhood of choice.
Search out the details An online listing only tells you so much about a house. Check with police and school districts in the areas that interest you before you make a final decision.
Stay on top of the market You need to know when a property has a price cut or when a new listing comes on the market. Email alerts from Realtor.com and/or your agent's website will help keep you up-to-date so you can act quickly when the time comes.
Copyright 2011 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.