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Searching for the Perfect Place

March 20, 2012

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Here we are at the third part of our first-time home buyers series. In our last blog, we gave you tips to finding the right Realtor. Now, it’s time for the fun part—finding the right home.

Searching for the Perfect Place

With all the available homes on the market right now, where do you begin to find the one and only? If you jump right into searching without any guidance, you can quickly find yourself in a maze of dead-ends. Check out the list of home search “Do’s and Don’ts” below to help you find your way home.

 

 Your Home Search: Do’s and Don’ts

Do make a Top 10 (or 20) list. Take time to make a list of what you really want in your home. What is really important for you to have in your home? An open floor plan? A two-car garage? Do you need to live in a certain school district or near your work? Write down everything that you couldn’t live without.

Do let your Realtor help you (even on the Internet). While almost 90% of new home buyers use the Internet to do their initial searches, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors, you might want to consult your Realtor before you search. Your Realtor will have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which gives up-to-date information on available properties in your search area. Other search sites may not make important changes to crucial information—like a home’s reduction in price or even the availability of a home—as quickly, which might leave you falling for a home that’s already spoken for.

Do keep your feet on the ground. Your head might be in the clouds while searching the Internet for a new home, but make sure your feet are firmly planted when you take a live tour. For instance, don’t let a beautiful kitchen distract you from a gigantic hole in the ceiling. Similarly, don’t let minor fixes and imperfections sway you from a good deal.

Don’t sacrifice the big stuff. If it is vital to your health and happiness to give your two kids their own rooms, then don’t settle on a two-bedroom house (unless you’re up for a renovation or one kid thinks living in the basement is cool). Likewise, if a longer commute to work might push you to quit your job, you might want to rethink the location of your dream home. If you’re not happy about something “major” with a house on your list, then move on.

Do know the neighborhood. If you’ve settled on a location where you’d like to search, take some time to tour the community. Where is the closest grocery store? a gas station? the library? City Hall? public transportation? Take a moment to talk to people in the area at a coffee shop or community center, if possible. Current residents can give you insight into the vibe of a neighborhood better than any website.

Do talk it over. In your home search, it’s easy to let the asking price or first impressions make your mind up for you. But it’s worth your while to take all factors into consideration before making a decision. If you’re worried about price, ask your Century 21 Realtor for comparables in your desired neighborhood and whether the seller is motivated. In a 2010 survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 44% of sellers offered their buyers special “extras,” such as paying a percentage of closing costs. You never know what kind of deal you can make if you don’t take the time to talk it through. Your Century 21 Realtor will be happy to help you arrive at your decision and feel comfortable with it.

 

Do you think you found the one? If so, the final step in your journey to home ownership is closing the deal. More details on that topic coming your way soon!

 

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About century21affiliatedchicago

Century 21 Affiliated-Chicago (“C21AC”) is a full service real estate brokerage firm located in Chicago with a focus on residential and commercial properties. Our agent base and management team includes a wide range of specialties serving customer needs across the ever changing real estate landscape, with expertise in many niches, including REO transactions, investment sales, bulk purchasers and sellers, commercial product and traditional residential transactions. C21AC is part of Century 21 Affiliated (“Affiliated”), a top 5 franchisee in the Century 21 system with over 30 locations across the Midwest and over 32 years of history. C21AC entered the Chicago market in February 2011 to re-launch the Century 21 brand in the downtown area and to bring a proven operating platform to the large and fragmented Chicago real estate market. At Century 21 Affiliated, the customer comes first. Our complete commitment to delivering top-notch customer service to our clients is what distinguishes us from our competitors and makes us such a powerful force in the real estate industry. Specialties Residential Sales, Commercial Sales, Short Sales, Bulk Sales, REO's, Leasing, Business Services

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