Do Your Homework Before Going Home shopping.

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Entering the real estate market is a huge decision, and you will need to be prepared to do some homework before going out there and getting too far into the process.

Know what you need - Spend some time considering your housing needs. Is your family still growing? What type of neighbourhood services are important to you? How long are you expecting to be living in the home? Are your needs going to change in time?

Know what you want - If you are yet to tour some already constructed display model homes, make the time and effort to go and have a look at the designs and features that are readily available. A lot has changed over the years in the home building industry.Visit model display homes in your local area and start accumulating some awesome ideas!

Do you have a financial plan - Buying a home is a very important financial decision. Start by talking with various lenders or a builder that may offer financing. They can review your current financial position and tell you where you will stand in terms of a mortgage. It is a very wise idea to get pre-qualified for a mortgage, so that you will then know exactly what you are able to spend. It is vital to ask about other "closing costs" such as mortgage insurance. In some cases, these costs can add up to as much as 3% to the cost of the actual home, so you will want to know about this before you take the plunge and buy.

Do you know the professional builders in your community? Contact your local Home Builders Association and ask for a list of builders who are members. There are good reasons why you should do this. In becoming a member, the builder makes a commitment to the Code Of Ethics. The importance of treating clients fairly and honestly is a crucial part of this code. Builders who take on this obligation are telling you where they stand and what you can expect from them.

Ensure you are getting quality, and value - Whether it is a new or used home you are looking at, you will of course want to know you're getting your money's worth. If purchasing an existing home, get a professional inspection so that you will be prepared for what maintenance and repair costs you may be facing in the future. Exisitng homes are sold "as is" with no warranty, so getting this information is crucial. With new homes on the other hand, the builder  or sales people should explain what materials and products are going to be used in construction.  Many major components are backed by manufacturers warranties. Be sure to ask for details.

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