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Monday, February 3, 2014

10 Things to Take the Trauma Out of Homebuying

  1. Find a real estate agent that's simpatico.  Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one.  It's critical that the agent you chose is both skilled and a good fit with your personality.
  2. Remember there's no "right" time to buy, any more than there's a right time to sell.  If you find a home now, don't try to second guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting.  Changes don't usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won't stay on the market long.
  3. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget.  Even if you buy a new home, there will be some costs.  Don't leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
  4. Accept that a little buyer's remorse is inevitable and will probably pass.  Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big commitment, but it also yields big benefits.
  5. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation.  While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4% annually over for the last 10 years, a home's most important role is as a comfortable, safe place to live.
  6. Don't ask for too many opinions.  It's natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas will make it much harder to make a decision.
  7. Accept that no house is ever perfect.  Focus in on things that are most important to you and let the minor ones go.
  8. Don't try to be a killer negotiator.  Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to "win" by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you love.
  9. Remember your home doesn't exist in a vacuum.  Don't get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself - room size, kitchen - that you forget such issues as amenities, noise level, etc., that have a big impact on what it's like to live in your new home.
  10. Don't wait until you've found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate insurance availability, and consider a schedule for moving.  Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.

Anya Myer & Jim Bennett, RE/MAX Pacific Northwest Awards Gala 2008


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