Taking the Trauma Out of
Home buying 
  1. Find a real estate professional whoís simpatico. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. Itís critical that the practitioner you chose is both skilled and a good fit with your personality.
  1. Remember, thereís no ďrightĒ time to buy, any more than thereís a right time to sell. If you find a home now, donít try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting. Changes donít usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home wonít stay on the market long.
  1. Donít ask for too many opinions. Itís natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas will make it much harder to make a decision.
  1. Accept that no house is ever perfect. Focus in on the things that are most important to you and let the minor ones go.
  1. Donít try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to ďwinĒ by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you love.
  1. Remember your home doesnít exist in a vacuum. Donít 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 itís like to live in your new home.
  1. Donít wait until youíve 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.
  1. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be some costs. Donít leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
  1. Accept that a little buyerís 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.

Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually from 1998 to 2002, a homeís most important role is as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Reprinted from REALTORS Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS Copyright 2004 All rights reserved www.REALTOR.org/realtormag

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