Choosing a Home
You've done your homework and seen what the market has to offer - now it's decision time.
Choosing which home to purchase is the critical phase of your search - make sure the house is right for you before deciding to buy. Consider your wish list, the location, and the price when making your final decision.
Consider the Neighborhood
You've already researched the community (we hope!) in general terms - now it's time to take one last look at the neighborhood to make sure it's the right place for your family. Consider your route to work, the local shopping - anything that affects your lifestyle and daily routine.
Check the Details
Make sure the house is right for your family and lifestyle. Will your furniture work out? Is the yard big enough? Does the layout work well for your family's routine? Check through your wish list and notes to make sure you're not forgetting anything.
Research Multi-Family Units
There are some specific concerns involving multi-family housing. If you're seriously considering this type of home make sure that you do the research so you know what you're getting. Review our multi-family housing checklist if you are planning to buy a condo or townhouse.
Don't Buy if You're Not Sure
Don't buy a home out of frustration or impatience - this is a major investment and it should be treated as such. If the market is strong or your standards prove to be unreasonable you may need to revise your expectations before continuing the search.
Be Wary of Overheated Markets
Think carefully before getting into a bidding war or buying a home with a hyper-inflated price. Extreme sellers' markets can develop when national and local economic conditions are exceptionally strong. During these periods prices can rise dramatically and buyers can be pressured into taking aggressive - and often irresponsible - actions. Be careful, however, as these strong periods are inevitably followed by severe corrections. Homeowners buying at peak periods often find themselves with substantial paper losses - a condition that can take years of normal appreciation to correct.
Try not to get too excited about a property. Buyers can easily convince themselves that they'll never find another house, but this is nonsense. If you like the home and it meets your needs, by all means make an offer. But keep your cool.