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A Real Estate investment is likely your biggest purchase. Whether you are a first time buyer, president of your co-op board or this is your 5th new home purchase there are several very simple, time saving tips to know before you begin.


BUYER Q & A with Agent Pamela Mitchell


What information do I need to make an informed decision?
You can learn a lot by doing a simple google search on the real estate market, home pricing and mortgage rates. You can even search inventory in the area you might be interested in. With so much data readily available why use an agent? The answer is simple there is so much conflicting information. An agent can guide you through the entire process making what can be overwhelming simple.

What about Financing?
Most buyers use financing regardless of their personal financial situation. Even the savviest investor may take advantage of interest rates to maintain liquidity. Check with your local bank first for the best rates they can give you, then shop around. There are a lot of different kinds of mortgages, do some homework to get the best rate and monthly payment. Find out what you qualify for. Most banks can give you a pre-approval letter as a place holder so you know what you can afford. Now you are a qualified, ready willing and able buyer! If you don’t know where to start ask for referrals.

Not sure which neighborhood?
Walk around each area. There is no better way to get to know what’s going on in the neighborhood than by foot. Wander the streets, check out the local restaurant scene, is there a market near by? Where is the nearest transportation, is that important to you? Maybe school is something to consider? Do you want to walk to work? Can you see yourself living in the area? Each 10 blocks comes with its own pod of amenities, try not to get bogged down on being on one particular street or avenue, it’s too limiting and will cause frustration.

What do I really want?
Make a list of your must haves and rank them, in order of preference. No one knows better what’s important to you. Ask yourself questions: do I care about view or space. Both? ok, check back with your bank :). How many bedrooms do I need? What can’t I live without? Is ceiling height important, is a fireplace that actually burns real wood a must? What about amenities, do you NEED a gym in the building or a rooftop terrace? Your list says a lot about what kind of a buyer you are to your agent. Be clear and the steps to get you there are much easier for all.

Ready to search?
Carve out time! Are you only available on weekends or open to weekdays? Try to devote different days to look. You can easily see 4-5 in one day though that can become overwhelming and difficult to remember all the details from the first to the last. I recommend 3. A good agent will flush out what is not a match for you, make and cluster your appointments for ideal timing and walk you through what the pros and cons are of each. Use the agent for their market knowledge, experience in negotiating and handling all the details.

Are you a Lookey-Lou?
This is someone who constantly looks and looks but can’t pull the trigger, never intended on doing so or just likes the activity of walking though homes. Perhaps the price tag vs. wish list ratio isn’t in sync. When you are ready, willing AND able, employ your agent. Though you aren’t paying directly for this service it is a job and just like you we don’t want to waste our time on a buyer who isn’t serious.

If you have seen 7-10 homes that meet your budget and 80% of your wish list and you still did not make an offer It’s only one of two things, you are not making compromises or you are just not ready. People don’t move just for fun they move for specific reasons: sizing up or down, a new location or an event that changes the life path. It doesn’t have to be daunting or a bad experience, It can be fun and rewarding as well as a solid long term investment. For MOST people this is your only home not just an investment. When you find one you like, jump on it!

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