There are so many tips and ideas that people have on buying a house.  In fact, hundreds of websites and blogs are dedicated to how to pick the perfect house.  Well, bottom line is only you know which house is perfect for you.  So make a checklist of the wants you need in your home, come up with a budget and start looking.  But my suggestion to you is to keep in mind my three don’ts when buying a house.

  1.  Don’t buy in an area just because it’s the cheapest.  As always, consider location carefully.  You know how far you are willing to travel for work, shopping, etc.  And you know what type of neighbors you’re interested in living near.  But never let affordability be the driver.  Your house is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make.  You will find what you can afford in the area you want to live.  Keep looking and don’t settle.
  2. Don’t be in a rush.  Leases are coming to an end, job transfer is just around the corner, school is out or about to start!  Although timing for these “benchmarks” is important, planning ahead could be the best guarantee that your deadlines will be met or even exceeded.  This way you will have plenty of time to look and find your dream house.  And don’t rule out renting: a great way to become familiar with the area while still shopping for your forever home.  Any realtor worth her salt can help you with this every step of the way.
  3. Don’t choose a realtor out of a phone book!  This is the most important part of buying a house.  The best way to find a real estate agent what will work for you and be your strong advocate is through referrals.  Talk to people, friends you know and ask their opinion.  If you trust their judgement you are likely to find the perfect match for you.  If you’re moving to a new area and have no contacts there, try the website.  A great source for licensed, certified agents.  Never pick strictly from the yellow pages.  Do your research.

Remember, this is likely to be the biggest investment you will ever make, so take your time, plan ahead, research the area and call a recommended professional.  You can call or email me, I will be happy to help!