Five Ground Rules for Achieving Home Buying Success

Save yourself the regret of buying too early with these basic steps.

Achieve Homebuying Success
There are few purchases in life that carry the financial and psychological weight of buying a home. Whether you are buying your first home, moving up to your dream home, or downsizing your home after the kids have left, it is important to understand the ground rules for success.

Get financing before you get a home
There are few things in life as disappointing as losing out on the home of your dreams because you can't secure funding. While the desire to get out there and search for that great home is understandable, it's vital to line up the financing you will need before you start shopping for a home.

It is also important to take a good look at the various types of mortgages on the market before getting started in the home-buying process. Mortgages come in more choices than the typical 15 or 30 year. For that reason, potential homebuyers need to understand how each type of mortgage works in order to gauge which is the best choice for their needs.

Look at the community, not just the home
Buying a house in the wrong area can be a big mistake; it's important to choose the location as well as the home. Potential buyers can learn a great deal about the nature of the various neighborhoods by driving around and by talking to other residents.

Be fair with your first offer
Trying to low-ball a seller on the first offer can backfire, as can offering too much. Evaluate the local market to compare the asking price of the home with what similar houses in the neighborhood have sold for. Comparing the sales of comparable homes, what are known as "comps" in the industry, is one of the best ways to determine what is fair, and to make sure that you neither overpay, nor underbid on the property.

Always get a home inspection
Always investigate the home for any possible defects before making an offer. The price of a quality home inspection is virtually negligible compared to the cost of the average home.

Don't alienate the sellers of the home
Many real estate deals have fallen apart due to the personal animosity between the buyer and the seller. Avoid alienating the seller of the home and nitpicking little details during the sale. Keeping the goodwill of the seller will help the transaction go smoothly, and it will provide the best environment for seller and buyer alike.

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