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How to Find and Buy Your Next Home in 4-Steps

So, you have finally decided to start looking for your first...or next home. The process can be incredibly daunting to even the experienced home-buyer.

Buying a home is one of those major life purchases that can impact your life positively...or negatively depending on how you go about it.

If you've purchased 15 homes or you're looking for that first dream home, here's a few steps every home-buyer should take when prospecting.

How to find a home

1. Research Ideal Neighborhoods

Many people make the mistake of falling in love with a home, only to find out...the neighborhood sucks. How does the old saying go? Location, location, location? That's not only true for commercial real estate.

Find neighborhoods that have an average home value that is consistent with the area. You don't want to have the most expensive house on the block, nor do you want the cheapest.

Look at things like:

- School District

- Crime Rate

- Average Age per capita

- Percentage of Households with kids...or without (if that's what you prefer)

City-Data is an excellent resource that has way more information than you will ever need to know about the number of department stores per square mile, and the odds that your house will be damaged due to volcanic eruption. (which might apply to some of you)


2. Budget & Financing

You have decided where your dream home is going to be. Now it's time to think about how you are going to purchase it. If you are like most people you will be financing through a mortgage.

Since the lending crisis, getting a mortgage has proven to be difficult if you have

- Bad credit

- Little or no credit

- Less than 20% down

- Too much outstanding debt

If you are going into the home buying process with any of these issues it can result in higher interest rates, you may have to pay "Private Mortgage Insurance" which is typically required of home-buyers who put less than 20% down.

It would be smart to seek out a pre-approval before you ever go look at a house. Doing this will give you a good range of how much you can afford based on what the lender is willing to give you. This will prevent you from wasting time on properties you cannot afford.


3. Prospect for Homes/Agents

You have your pre-approval from your lender and you are ready to start seeing some houses in your desired neighborhood.

You could go at it alone and become the victim of a blood thirsty Listing Agent, or follow my recommendation and hire a Buyers Agent right off the bat.

By hiring a Buyers Agent, you are hiring someone to represent you until the end. This person will be legally obligated to look out for your best interest.

This agent will also have extensive knowledge of a neighborhood that may be unfamiliar to you. Crime, average home value, even little things like how good the local snow removal is, just to name a few.

Decide what your ideal home will look like and be assertive as to what you want. When dealing with your agent be firm but flexible.

Make a list of "must haves" such as 4 bedrooms and a 2 car garage. Also include a list of "wants" like a big walk in closet and a bar in the basement. This will allow your agent to pinpoint on whats most important, but also sprinkle in some of those shiny objects that will sell the house to you.


4. Make an Offer

Congratulations! You found the home you want and you are ready to make an offer. This is the part that will make or break you, if you can't close a deal it doesn't matter how many houses you see.

It's very important to make your objectives known ahead of time to your agent and then sit back and let them do the negotiating.

Again, be firm but flexible. You never want to let the seller step on you and push you into a bad deal. Be prepared to walk away without emotional attachment.

If the offer is rejected and countered take your agents advice and re-submit a new offer. If they continue to reject your offers it could mean that they just are not motivated to sell.

Even if it was rejected outright, it doesn't mean you can't resubmit again. Remember this is a business deal and we are not becoming emotionally attached to the home.


Things to Remember:

- Take your time

Don't allow yourself to fall into a bad deal because you were too eager to decide on a home, or sign on the dotted line.

- If you're unsure...walk away

Like I've said, never get emotionally attached... If you are unsure whether or not you are making the right choice. Walk away from the deal. You will know when you found the right property.

- Do your research

Even though you are hiring a Buyers Agent, you are still hiring a commissioned salesperson whose goal is to sell you a house. Be informed, it's your money.



Buying a home doesn't have to be a stressful and scary process. It is something that some people never get to do, and most only do it once. Enjoy it and take pride in the fact that you get to experience the ride!

I hope this article brings value to you, and if you think it can simplify your home buying experience why not share it with your friends or prospective home-buyers?

- Wishing you Much Success -



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