Are you looking for a home? Before deciding which house to buy, think about your lifestyle, your current and anticipated housing needs, and your budget. It's a good idea to create a prioritized list of features you want in your next home - you'll soon discover finding the right house involves striking a balance between your "must-haves" and your "nice-to-haves."
To start, consider your lifestyle. If you love to cook, you'll want a well-equipped kitchen. If you're into gardening, you'll want a yard. If you're planning your office at home, you may want a room for a separate library or work space. If you have several cars, you may require a larger garage. Use this list as your search guide.
Next, think about what you might need in the future. As you consider your housing needs, it's important to consider how long you may live in your home. If you're newly married, you might not be concerned with a school district right now, but you could be in a few years. If you have aging parents, you may want to look at homes that offer living arrangements for them as well as you.
It's important to think about your new home's location just as carefully as you do about a house's features. Location is a huge part of any move. In addition to considering the distance to work, you need to evaluate the availability of shopping, police and fire protection, medical facilities, school and day-care, traffic and parking, trash and garbage collection, even recreational facilities.
Another important decision is the type of home you want. Do you want a condominium or a co-op? A town house or a detached single-family home? Do you want brick, stone, stucco, wood, vinyl siding, or something else? Do you prefer a new home or an older one?
Single family homes have good appreciation, offer the opportunity for gardens, provide more privacy, and are generally quieter. But, they're usually more expensive than Condos and Townhomes and require more maintenance. Alternatively, Condos, Townhomes, and Cooperatives are typically less expensive than comparable single-family homes and typically require no yard or exterior maintenance. However, they do offer less privacy, tend to be noisier, and have common walls, floors and/or ceilings, not to mention additional expenses, like association fees.
Be sure to talk to your real estate professional about where you want to live and what's most important to you. While more buyers now use the Internet to gain access to listings, or available properties for sale, it is still a good idea to use an agent. The agent brings value to the entire home buying process: he or she is available to analyze data, answer questions, share their professional expertise, and handle all the paperwork and legwork that is involved in the real estate transaction. CENTURY 21® professionals have the expertise to help their clients narrow their choices by sharing market trends and local information..