Home Ownership: Now What?
As you lie in bed at night wide awake over the fact that you have finally made the decision to buy and you have a million questions. Okay where do I buy, how do I buy, and what kind of house do I like. I remember like it was yesterday when we started looking and I found a charming house in Pottstown and my in laws went crazy. Not that there is anything wrong with Pottstown but it was too far away... But in my opinion the best place to start is to talk to family and friends. They have all kinds of advice some good, some not so good but what the heck that is what happens when you belong to the human race. Trust me your goldfish never had these sorts of problems. However I did buy my last house because of the dog but I will go into that later. Anyway back to the friends and family part. They will suggest realtors, mortgage people, insurance people the list goes on and on. And by the way if you live on the Main Line everyone knows a Realtor or you have a license yourself. Or you could be like me, my mother in law decided we would use her friend who was a realtor and the die was cast. And that is why I became a Realtor.
But if you are just moving to the area and don’t know a soul let me offer some advice for whatever it is worth and maybe it might apply if you are trying to choose between referrals. Look for an agent that you feel comfortable with, who listens and who is not afraid of giving advice. Make sure they are knowledgeable about the area that you’re moving to. Are they up to date with the latest technology? Do they respond to your phone calls, emails and or texts in a reasonable time? My blackberry is tied around my throat and tightens if I don’t respond within 5 minutes. Are they available? Do they explain everything they are doing and ask you a lot of questions about what your needs are? Don’t be afraid if they suggest an in house mortgage broker; trust me these guys want to get you to settlement.
As for where to live, First of all location, location, location it is still very much alive today even if your market might be depressed. Also school districts are important they are key to your property values. Try to take in to account your commute to work, trust me nothing is more irritating that being in the car after a long day at work and having a long car ride. Is there public transportation available, shopping, day care, Gym, Starbucks???? Look this is not fool proof but it does get you off to a good start.