The Basics of Buying a Home

Buying a home can be one of the biggest and most important investments you can make. The process of buying the home that you want can be a long and tedious process, taking up most of your time. It’s up to you, as the consumer, to ask any questions, pay attention to details and to learn about the real estate market in the area in which you intend to buy.

Step One You must know what your wants and needs are before embarking on the long journey of house hunting. Taking a piece of paper, sit down and write down all the features that are most important to you:

Are you looking for a house in a specific city, neighborhood or school district?

How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want or need?

Do you want off street parking, or a one or two car garage?

If you operate a home based business, are there any restrictions in the area you intend to buy in?

Do you want a finished basement or attic space?

Do you want a ranch style home or two story house?

Do you want a central air unit?

Do your want a furnace or a boiler for heat?

Now, on a separate piece of paper, write down all the features that you absolutely do not want in a house:

Living in a congested part of town.

Living next to an airport, train station or highway.

A home that is in great need of repair.

A home with too many stairs.

Keep this list in mind as you look at houses. This list may also change from time to time as you look at houses. You may choose to add or remove certain features you do not want or are willing to make compromises on. Don’t be disappointed if you can not find the “perfect” home. Most homes do not come “perfect,” they can only be made that way through time and patience.

Step Two Before you begin looking at properties, you will need to get your finances in order. This will be a good time to review your credit report and possibly clean it up a bit to improve your credit score. It’s important to check your credit report to make sure there are no discrepancies. Any past due amounts should be paid in full or most companies will be willing to negotiate a settlement price to