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What should I keep in mind when looking at homes?

The housing market is complicated because the stock of homes for sale is always in flux. It is important to know as much as possible about the choices in preferred markets, and the way to do that is by working closely with a local realtor who has a good “lay of the land.”

It’s important to list the features and benefits you want in a home. Consider such things as pricing, location, size, amenities (extras such as a pool or extra-large kitchen) and design (one floor or two, colonial or modern, etc.).

It’s also important to consider your priorities. What features are most important to you? For instance, would you trade fewer bedrooms for a larger kitchen?

Lastly, consider your needs in several years. For instance, if you’ll need a larger home, maybe now is the time to buy a bigger house rather than moving or expanding in the future.

Most buyers’ first consideration is the number of bedrooms. Additional purchase and resale considerations include:

  • Deciding whether you want a home that’s a newly constructed home, an older home or a home that requires some work – a “fixer-upper”
  • Houses with three or more bedrooms generally have more appeal than two-bedroom/one-bath houses, and therefore have more appreciation potential
  • Homes with “curb appeal” (a well-maintained, attractive and charming view-from-the-street appearance) are the easiest to resell
  • When resale is a possibility, the best investment potential is traditionally found in a less expensive, more moderately sized home on the street – rather than the most expensive house on the street, or anything that is unusual or unique

While house hunting, it’s a good idea to make notes about what you see because viewing several houses at a time can be confusing.

Act decisively when you find the home that’s clearly right for you. This is particularly important after a long search or if the house is newly listed and/or under-priced.