The best way to prepare for the home search is to be clear about your needs and wants before you look. First, decide where you want to live. Location is the single most important factor in buying a new home. It will partially determine the price of the home and will be a powerful influence on your lifestyle.
If you are from out of town, ask co-workers and acquaintances for their recommendations. Rely on the services of a real estate professional. They make it their business to know the area – with its neighborhoods, shopping, and schools.
Once you’ve identified a geographic area for your new residence, decide what you want in a home.
There are two basic choices: 1. New or An Existing Structure 2.Single Family Home or a Condominium/Co-Op
The “new” versus “existing” questions means weighing the benefits of established neighborhoods and sometimes superior building materials against amenities, appliances, and style. Purchasing a new home requires the added expenses of window coverings, upgrades in carpeting, landscaping, and a great deal of time and patience. To many, an existing home that has been well cared for is much more attractive than a new home requiring months of decision making and cash outlay.
A single family home gives you the most privacy and choice. It is generally more spacious than a condo and provides yard space for children to play and outdoor hobbies such as gardening. Landscaping can be designed to be maintenance-free, giving maximum enjoyment for minimum work. Condos and co-ops free you from the burden of general upkeep and provide common areas with pools and other recreational facilities. They are also usually more affordable.
Narrowing your search to homes with specific features will save you lots of time. Take a look at our priority checklist. Use this list, or create your own, to define your future home. Of course, your final selection may require compromise on some of these features.