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Homebuyer's Dictionary (glossary)

Looking at homes

What kind of home do you want to buy -- new or old? Do you want a detached single family home, a townhouse, or a condominium? There are many types of homes to choose from. What's important is what is best for you.

Where do you want to live? How close to schools, your job, a grocery store, or public transportation do you want to be? Do you want a yard or would you prefer not to have a lawn to take care of? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you and your Realtor® narrow your search for a home.

Make sure that any special requirements you have -- such as parking, access to bus service, air conditioning, or wheelchair accessibility -- are part of the property you want to purchase.

Before looking at homes, you may want to put together a list of "what is required" and "what you would prefer".  Then, when you see a home, you can make a note of what you liked and disliked, and what requirements were met and not met.  Sometimes taking a picture of each home you visit will help you recall specific features of the property. A Realtor® may also provide photos of the properties you visit.

Once you've found a house and feel ready to make an offer, it's a good idea to check out the neighborhood several times – at different times of day and night, and on different days of the week.  This, along with talking with your potential new neighbors, will help you get a true sense of the neighborhood activity.  It's also a good time to take a more critical look at the house, searching for problems or flaws that may have escaped your attention when you were falling in love with it!

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