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3. Play Game of Nines
Before house hunting, make a list of things you want in new place. Then make a list of things you don't want. You can use this list as a guide to rate each property that you see. The one with biggest score wins! This helps avoid confusion and keeps things in perspective when you're comparing dozens of homes. When house hunting, keep in mind difference between "STYLE AND SUBSTANCE". The SUBSTANCE is set of things that cannot be changed such as location, view, size of lot, noise in area, school district, and floor plan. The STYLE represents easily changed surface finishes like carpet, wallpaper, color, and window coverings. Buy house with good SUBSTANCE, because STYLE can always be changed to match your tastes. I always recommend that you imagine each house as if it were vacant.
Consider each house on its underlying merits, not seller's decorating skills.
4. Don't Be Pushed Into Any House
Your agent should show you everything available that meets your requirements. Don't make a decision on a house until you feel that you've seen enough to pick best one.
Don't forget to check into SCHOOL DISTRICTS of area you're considering. Information is available on every school, such as class sizes, % of students that go on to college, SAT scores, etc. You can get this information from this web site.
5. Stop Calling Ads!
Please note - ads are sometimes created to make phone ring! Many of homes have some drawback that's not mentioned in ad, such as traffic noise, power lines, or litigation in community. What's not mentioned in ad is usually more important than what is.
For this reason, I want you to be very careful when reading ads. Remember that person writing ad is representing seller and not you! The most important thing you can do is have someone on your side looking out for your best interests. Your own agent will critique property with an eye towards how well it meets your needs and will point out any drawbacks you should know about. So whether you decide to work with me or not, pick an agent you feel comfortable with and enlist services of that agent as a buyer's broker. Then you become a client with all rights, benefits, and privileges created by this agency relationship, and you're no longer just a shopper. Did you know that many homes are sold WITHOUT A SIGN ever going up or an AD EVER BEING PUT IN THE PAPER? These "great deals" go to those people who are committed to working with one agent. When an agent hears of a great buy, who do you think he's going to call? His client, who he has a legal obligation to work hard for you, or someone who just called on phone and said "keep your eyes open"? So to get best buy on a property, I always recommend that you hire your own agent and stick with him or her.
(c) Copyright 2005 Madan Ahluwalia. All rights reserved.
Madan “Raja” Ahluwalia is an Attorney at Law & Realtor. Raja offers his clients a counseling-based approach to home buying, where the client’s long-term goals are the most important consideration. He possesses a thorough understanding of the market and trends, based on years of involvement in real estate. He provides expert insights and helps clients understand timing, pricing and financing issues. Contact Raja at email@example.com or 650.430.4023.