Top 5 in Real Estate Network® Members are dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date, helpful real estate information. This monthly newsletter, "Real Estate Matters," offers articles on a range of topics that will inform you in your real estate pursuits.

From Our Team: What to Consider When Buying a Home

Thanks to the perfect storm of low prices, attractive inventory, and affordable interest rates, this continues to be a lucrative time to invest in a home, whether it be a first home, a move-up home, or a second home.
Choosing a home is no easy process, however, and many factors must be carefully weighed before making your selection. As a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I, along with my team, advise our clients to pay careful attention to a few details in particular when considering a home—these important details will significantly impact your long-term happiness in the home as well as the home’s appreciation over time. So, as you begin to consider properties in our neighborhood, here are a few issues to think about that may help you find exactly the right home for you and your family:
Type of home: One-story or two, single-family, duplex or condo? How will paying homeowner dues affect your overall buying power? Will a swimming pool be a bonus or a hindrance? Making these decisions in advance will help you focus on the right types of home to look at.

New or existing: A new home is all shiny and clean, but will carry with it some hefty initial costs such as landscaping and window coverings. An existing home will have many of these things, but repairs or renovations that may need to be made will also impact your budget.

Features: Weigh the costs of gas vs. electric heating and cooling, and the possible need for fencing. How important is a fireplace? Does the home have enough bedrooms and bathrooms to support your family in the coming years?

Ease of maintenance: What is the condition of the roof? The appliances? Will you have to paint the interior or exterior and/or replace the carpeting? Be sure to factor in such costs in your budget and your negotiations.

Location: Do you want to be in the city or in the country? Nearer to libraries, parks and entertainment or set among tall trees and lakes? What about the need for public transportation? Nearby hospitals and schools?

Crime rate and public schools: Check with local enforcement and local residents to get a feeling for statistics and quality. We can also provide you with up-to-date statistics on this information.

Economic stability: Whether an area is growing or not can affect its future property value—as will the economic stability of the area.

Property tax: Examine the annual amount of real estate taxes and other assessments levied in the neighborhoods you are considering.

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