The new year provides an opportunity to start fresh and develop goals and resolutions for the coming year. Some people strive toward financial aspirations or a professional achievement, while others might choose to pursue a lifelong goal, such as owning a home.
If 2011 is the year to achieve your dream of home ownership, the following tips may be helpful:
· Talk to the experts. Work with a real estate professional, lender and attorney who are familiar with the area in which you would like to buy a home. A real estate agent can provide you with expert knowledge about the local market, including information about community life and specific neighborhoods, and will be a useful resource throughout the entire process as he or she guides you from the initial search through closing on the purchase of your new home.
· Be smart about financing. You may have savings allotted to cover your down payment, but don't forget about other upfront expenses like closing and inspection costs. Look into the many programs available to help you reduce upfront costs. Also, get pre-approved as soon as possible to help you develop a budget, understand what price range you can afford and set realistic expectations.
· Determine your preferences. Speak to your real estate agent and browse online for homes that meet your criteria. Many websites, including Weichert.com and my Website, allow you to see multiple photos, view school and neighborhood information and set up e-mail alerts to notify you of new listings. Before you begin looking at homes, be sure you have a clear idea of what your wants and needs are, as well as the price you are willing and able to pay.