Buying determining precisely what your needs are before

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Buying Real Estate
Prepare
Like so many things in life, when it comes to buying Real Estate, proper preparation is one of the keys to success. Don’t want to find yourself in a neighborhood you don’t like? Don’t want to be making mortgage payments on a house in which you are uncomfortable? Don’t want to waste your time falling in love with houses you can’t afford? In a word, prepare!
One of your most important tasks will be determining your needs. It can help to avoid either a nasty disappointment or the pain of buying more house than you need (or can afford). Distinguishing needs from wants will go a long way in preventing expensive mistakes in the house buying process. Establish some basic parameters and stick to them. When house hunting, it is easy to get swayed by the emotion of the moment–and end up with more house than will be financially comfortable.

Do your mortgage investigation early. Odds are strong that you will be working with Real Estate Agents when you buy a house. Before you go on a house search, familiarize yourself with how Agents work and most importantly, who they represent. Thousands of buyers have made the huge mistake of assuming that the Agent with whom they were working represented them in the transaction, when, in reality, the Agent represented the seller.

Determining Needs
Want to save a lot of aggravation and possibly a great deal of money when you buy a house? Spend a few hours determining precisely what your needs are before you begin your house search.

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Examples of NEEDS Examples of WANTS
Enough square footage for comfortable living Carpeting color, paint color, exterior color, roof color, etc.
Enough bedrooms to accommodate your family Pool or Jacuzzi (unless for medical reasons)
Adequate number of bathrooms Wood floors
Eat-in kitchen Bay windows
Garage or basement for storage needs Built-in entertainment center
Lot size to accommodate children’s play area Brass lighting fixtures
Adaptation for Handicapped Skylights
Proximity to a specific school A pretty view
Gameplan
If you haven’t already done so, investigate your housing needs and wants to determine what types of houses you should be considering.

Learn who The Players are in a Real Estate transaction so that you will know who is responsible for what.

Get your financial picture in focus as soon as possible. Get a copy of your Credit Report to see if there are problems or disrepencies that you need to deal with.

Familiarize yourself with the mortgage process.

Get Pre-Qualified from a Mortgage Lender. Do this first. Your Agent will need your mortgage qualification, and it will significantly strengthen your offer when you find a home. At LendingTree, you can submit a quick application, and within 2 business days get up to 4 offers from lenders so that you can compare terms and rates.

Find an Agent that you trust. It is important to do this before you go rushing off looking for homes or you may end up with no representation. See the Agent Representation section for an important discussion regarding who represents whom.

When you find an acceptable house, write a contract.

Negotiate your best deal.

Make a formal loan application.

Arrange for home inspection.

Arrange for closing agent or attorney.

Make moving plans–for an innovative and money-saving approach to moving, click here.

Secure final loan approval and commitment from the lending institution.

Do a final walk through of the house.

Final closing and settlement.

Move to your new home and begin enjoying it!!
The Players
Real Estate is never bought and sold on your own The vast majority of home buyers enlist the services of a Real Estate Agent, a Lender, a Professional Home Inspector, and a Closing Attorney or Escrow Agent. Knowing what each is responsible for will help your understanding of the process and eliminate confusion as you proceed.

Sellers: Familiarize yourself with seller motivations and psychology.

Real Estate Agents: An Agent may or may not be your representative. an Agent will arrange to show you houses that are available through a Multiple Listing Service. Without the use of an Agent, you will be limited only to those houses that are For Sale By Owner. The Agent will coordinate the offer, negotiations and the contract of sale.

Lenders: A broad term that refers to the person originating the loan
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