Tips for buy­ing the right home

Boston Herald - - THE EDGE -

With the new year upon us, my part­ner and I want to buy our first home. Do you have any ad­vice on how to find the best house at the best price?

There no such thing as “the best” house, there is only the best house for the two of you. As with most things in life, proper prepa­ra­tion is the key. Get to­gether and first de­cide where you want to live. For ex­am­ple, if there are kids in the pic­ture, a good school dis­trict is im­por­tant but tends to raise prices, so you may want to avoid that area if schools are not a pri­or­ity.

You should not feel stuck in the same neigh­bor­hood you live in now, un­less you love it there. After this, you should each make a sep­a­rate list of the five fea­tures of your new home that are most im­por­tant to you. Your part­ner may pri­or­i­tize a garage while you want a swim­ming pool.

Real es­tate is very lo­cal, and you will want an agent who is ex­pe­ri­enced in the neigh­bor­hoods you are look­ing in. The in­ter­net can be an ex­cel­lent re­source for this. In­ter­view a few agents to find one that you mesh with and who has ex­pe­ri­ence in the par­tic­u­lar area you are look­ing for. Show your new agent the list of fea­tures you both want and ask to see homes that check off most of the boxes.

Look at a va­ri­ety of houses and give your fa­vorites a sec­ond look be­fore mak­ing an of­fer. Take your time, keep your pro­pri­eties in mind and keep look­ing. The av­er­age buyer will look at 10 houses, but it’s OK if you find your dream home on the third look or the 30th. This is a sit­u­a­tion where you will lit­er­ally need to live with your de­ci­sion.

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