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Lesson 2: Finding Your First Home

Letís Go Shopping!

You know that you want to buy a home and how much you can afford. Now you have to get out there and find one! But, before hitting the streets, you will need to make a few key decisions.

What type of home do you want?
Options include single-family homes, condominiums, co-ops and townhouses, depending on your price range and your need for space and property.

Do you prefer a newly built home or a resale home?
You may want the warranties and efficient construction of a newly built home, as well as your ability to customize it for the first time. On the other hand, you may find a good deal on a resale home, which may need a little elbow grease. The choice is up to you.

What are your wants and needs in a house?
How many bedrooms? Garage? Basement? What kind of schools are in the area? By checking off the specific features of each home you visit, you'll find it easier to compare your choices when it's time to make your final decision.

Will you use a real estate agent, or shop on your own?
Many homebuyers choose to work with a real estate agent or broker to help them find a home. Since finding a home, negotiating the contract and closing the deal is such an important transaction, an experienced agent can provide guidance and help to avoid potential pitfalls.

An agent should have a vast knowledge of the real estate market, price trends and neighborhood conditions. The agent will help you shop for your home, tour properties and be your negotiator if bargaining over price is necessary.

If you decide to use a real estate agent, you should take great care in selecting one to meet your needs. You may want to ask family, friends and co-workers for referrals to agents that they recommend.

Pre-Qualification - An Important Step

Before you go looking for a home, you may want to consider getting pre-qualified to reassure yourself that you will be financially able to get a mortgage. Getting pre-qualified can give you a significant advantage while youíre shopping for a home. If you are working with a real estate agent, it lets them know you are a serious buyer.

You can simply click here or call 866-496-4666 or 320-271-4666.

Making an Offer

When you become more certain about the type of house and neighborhood you want, you may want to make an offer. Before submitting your offer, consider the following:

  • The asking price versus the market value of the house.
  • A comparative price analysis of neighboring homes.
  • The homeís condition and potential renovations or repairs
  • Your price range
  • Negotiable items with the seller such as closing costs, repair work, closing dates, etc.

While bargaining, keep in mind some signs of an overpriced house. With the correct negotiating you may be able to get a lower price:

  • On the market more than four months. If no buyers are interested, the house may cost too much.
  • Series of cost reductions. Indicates that the seller has already cut the price, and may be willing to go lower.
  • Your comparative price analysis is drastically different from the selling price. Donít pay more than your neighbor for the same amount of house.


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