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Tips for Shopping for a Home

Dreaming of home ownership? Or perhaps you’ve outgrown your current home and need something larger? Shopping for a new home can be a bit more daunting than browsing handbags or hats, but it can be just as fun! Following a few simple guidelines can take the stress out of the process and have you planning parties in your new home in no time!

Before you start shopping, you should be pre-approved for a mortgage through a reputable lender. You may qualify for more than you want to spend, or your lender may offer programs that afford you more buying power. The thing to remember is that you live in the payment of the home, not the price, so being clear about your monthly budget is crucial.

And by the way, now is not the time to be doing other kinds of shopping. You can tank your home loan by buying a car or putting that new sofa on your credit card. Resist the urge to feather your new nest until after escrow closes!

Find a good Realtor. And by that I mean ask your friends and family for recommendations and remember, in this case, experience matters. Discount brokers can sound like a great idea, but this is too big a purchase (or sale) to trust to just anyone. Interview a few candidates and ask for references.

Spend some time sorting out your wants and needs, and think about areas in which you’re willing to compromise. For example, if school boundaries or walkability are important, perhaps you would be willing to buy the not-so-perfect home in the right neighborhood. A bonus of a fixer is you get to make it your own.

Visiting open houses can also be a great way to get a clear idea of what you like, and get a feel for home prices in neighborhoods that appeal to you.  Lastly, keep an open mind! There are great neighborhoods and homes all over San Diego.


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