Finding a Home
Search for a REALTOR®
Looking at homes
Location and condition
How much can I afford?
Costs of owning a home
Find a homebuyer program
Getting pre-qualified for a loan
Your offer to purchase
Finding a lender
Choosing a mortgage
Shopping interest rates
Loan application costs
The appraisal process
Qualifying for a loan
Importance of getting an inspection
How to find a qualified inspector
Different types of inspections
Preparing for closing
Understanding closing costs
Setting a closing date
At your closing
After your closing
100 Questions & Answers
Homebuyer's Dictionary (glossary)
Looking at homes
What kind of home do you want to buy -- new or old? Do you want a detached single family home, a townhouse, or a condominium? There are many types of homes to choose from. What's important is what is best for you.
Where do you want to live? How close to schools, your job, a grocery store, or public transportation do you want to be? Do you want a yard or would you prefer not to have a lawn to take care of? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you and your Realtor narrow your search for a home.
Make sure that any special requirements you have -- such as parking, access to bus service, air conditioning, or wheelchair accessibility -- are part of the property you want to purchase.
Before looking at homes, you may want to put together a list of "what is required" and "what you would prefer". Then, when you see a home, you can make a note of what you liked and disliked, and what requirements were met and not met. Sometimes taking a picture of each home you visit will help you recall specific features of the property. A REALTOR® may also provide photos of the properties you visit.
Once you've found a house and feel ready to make an offer, it's a good idea to check out the neighborhood several times – at different times of day and night, and on different days of the week. This, along with talking with your potential new neighbors, will help you get a true sense of the neighborhood activity. It's also a good time to take a more critical look at the house, searching for problems or flaws that may have escaped your attention when you were falling in love with it!
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