So You’re Ready To Buy? (GULP!) Part 2
SO YOU ARE READY TO BUY [GULP] PART II! ~ By Patricia Forger
To continue on with last weeks column – You made the choice and realized that the time is right to buy your first home. Home prices are the lowest they have been in years. Interest rates for mortgages cannot be beat. But, you’re wondering, where do I start? Here are some more tips to give you the best possible advantage for finding the home of your dreams
1. What exactly are you looking for in a home? Will this be a starter home, your dream home or your retirement home? You need to figure out how long you plan to live there. Will your job require relocation? Do you eventually want to retire in a different state? Or, do you want to find your dream home and remain there for 20 – 30 years? With the economic climate, you just need to make sure you can afford what you are buying. So take your time and make sure you are buying what fits your needs – whether it’s short term or your “forever” home.
2. Visit open houses! You can find so many open houses around your area and in Towns that you have never visited before. Take a look on-line or in the paper as most open houses are on Saturdays and Sundays. Get a map, and plan on spending a good part of the day visiting the homes. It also will give you ideas of what you really want. Is the gourmet kitchen important? Do you have to have a full finished basement? Can you really live without a dining room or that extra ½ bath? You will even find amenities you never thought of and find out what you really cannot live without. Bring along a pad and pen and write down your thoughts and findings.
3. Check out the neighborhoods! A great website is the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC) at http://www.cerc.com. You can access individual Town profiles, compare state-by-state showing comparisons of population, taxes, labor, education and cost of living, and find out what you need to do business in Connecticut.
4. When you do find a home you are interested in, see if you can meet the neighbors! Especially when the weather is nice, you may find people working outside their homes – go over and introduce yourself! For some people, especially with children, a family oriented neighborhood is a must. For those that are retirement age, they may be looking for something quieter.
5. If you’re not familiar with the Town/City – check out the downtown! Are restaurants important to you? Make sure you visit the libraries, grocery stores, and see what the Town has to offer.
Finally, remember that the house you buy will be one of the most important investments you ever make in your life. You need to have a plan and never jump into something or offer too much on a home that you could ultimately lose because you’re over your head. If you can’t find something you know you can afford, think about renting for another year or downsizing into a smaller, less expensive rental while you save up to add to your down payment. Just because the housing prices are so low does not mean that everyone is ready to buy. Owning a home means sacrifice sometimes so take your time, do your homework and make sure this is the time for you to make that important decision!
Next time – I want to sell my house – will I be able to?
Pat Forger, Sales Executive, Realtor®
Turning your dreams into an address!
Neumann Real Estate, Christie’s International Real Estate
72 Route 37, New Fairfield, CT 06812
Cell: 203-300-6168 Patricia@NeumannRealEstate.com