- Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. Web sites such as Realator.com and Zillow can give you a general idea of what you should expect to pay. You can also do a quick search of actual MLS listings in our Web sites.
- See what you can afford. Use a mortgage calculator to see what your payment would be, contact a local banker/mortgage company for a pre-approval . To get a sense of the maximum you should spend, use MSN Real Estate’s home affordability calculator located on our Resources page.
- Find out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance. To get an idea of what you'll pay in insurance, pick a property in the area where you want to live and make a call to a local insurance company for an estimate. You won't be obligated to get the insurance, but you'll have a good idea of what you'll pay if you buy.
- Find out how much you'll likely pay in closing costs. The up front cost of settling on your home shouldn't be overlooked. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowners association fees. You can see what closing costs average in your state by looking at Bankrate.com's annual closing cost survey.
- Hire a Realtor: Studies show that home buyers who use a realtor to represent them generally get a better negotiated price than those who buy the home themselves. Realtors are up-to-date on critical processes and guide you through the buying process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
Need more specific help to meet your home buying needs? Feel free to contact us via the contact form on this page. We are eager to help you in any way we can.