We have helped countless people find homes over the last 30 years.  In order to help you take advantage of our experience, we'd like to provide you with a few suggestions for considerations when house hunting.

1.  First step - if you are going to be financing your purchase, get preapproved.  There is no cost to do this and it may only take a day or less to accomplish.  You might ask why you should do this first.  There are several reasons.  First of all, you will find out exactly what price range is right for you so you can shop with confidence.  Secondly, you will know what you are looking at as far as expenses go so there will be no surprises.  Finally, when you find your dream home, you will need a prequalification letter with your offer to prove to the sellers that you are qualified so they will take your offer seriously.  We can recommend a mortgage company for you if you don't have one.

2.  Decide what features are must haves and which ones are wishes.  This makes it much easier to focus in on the right homes for you and will save you time and frustration.

3.  When you find a house you like, make sure to look at the neighborhood.  Do the neighbors keep up their homes well or are they in disrepair?  If surrounding homes are in poor condition, it's going to bring your value down.  You should also look at the size of the surrounding homes.  If the one you like is the biggest one on the block, the surrounding homes could also impact your home's value.  We can help you with finding out the selling prices of other homes in the neighborhood so that find out if the asking price is reasonable or not.

4.  Always get a home inspection.  Your home may be your biggest purchase.  It's worth a little bit of money to have a professional check it out structurally and mechanically - even if you are interested in a new home.  No homes are perfect.

5.  Consider resale.  Yes, you are just buying the home now, but you probably won't live in it for the rest of your life and will want to sell it one day.  Make sure that the home's floor plan will suit a number of different lifestyles so that there will be a large market of potential buyers in the future.  You'll want to think long and hard if the home you're looking at has any unusual features that would not appeal to many people.

6.  A home is generally a long term investment.  No one can predict the future, but we'd recommend that you have at least a 5 year time frame to own the home or you run a high risk of losing money when you go to sell.  It takes some time to generate enough equity to pay for your selling expenses and hopefully make you a profit.

Of course there are many other considerations and every situation is different.  We just wanted to provide you with some general guidelines to follow.  Let us know if you have any questions or if we can help.