home buying - decide to buy  DECIDE TO BUY
 home buyers get organized  GET ORGANIZED
 shop for a home  SHOP FOR A HOME
 prepare an offer to buy  PREPARE AN OFFER
 get a home loan  GET A LOAN
 closing on home buying deal  CLOSE THE DEAL
 home buying roadmap  BACK TO ROADMAP

Shop for a Home

Be prepared for highs and lows. Houses don't always measure up to their advertisements, but you may find a real charmer without many listed features.

> Work with an agent
If you work with an agent, make sure they know your priorities. Follow the Know What You Want checklist to identify them, and give your agent a copy. If you look on your own, you can get real estate listings online.

> Take a checklist of Questions to Ask When You See the House
Get all the information you need to compare and contrast later. A beautiful Victorian may be a favorite until you revisit your notes and discover it needs new plumbing and wiring.

> When you find a home that interests you, research the neighborhood
Learn more about the area, go on your own at different times of the day, and talk to neighbors and local businesses to get a feel for what it's like to live there. If everything checks out, you're ready to Prepare Your Offer.

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