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Tips When Shopping For Your First Home

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Are you tired of being subject to the whims of your landlord? Do you wish that you could repaint and redecorate however you like, without worrying about whether or not you'll get your security deposit. If so, you're probably already thinking about buying your own home. But before you get too far in your quest for the perfect house, here are some things to consider:

Buy less than you can afford: With real estate, it's tempting to purchase as large and as fancy a house as the bank allows. But doing that isn't always the best idea. Right now, the bank may be working off the assumption that there will be two incomes in the household, yours and your spouse or significant other. If one of you becomes sick or injured and loses his or her job, your income will obviously be significantly lower even if it's only a temporary situation. While nobody wants a financial crisis to happen, purchasing property that is below your means will help ensure that you don't go into foreclosure due to a partial loss of income.

Research crime statistics: Even if you've lived in a city for a while, you may not realize precisely which neighborhoods are prone to what types of crime. Most cities will allow you to look up crime statistics for the area around a certain piece of real estate. This will allow you to find out where most of the drug deals and burglaries are happening, so that you can choose a home that is elsewhere. You may even be surprised to find out that a certain neighborhood has more or less crime than you'd previously expected.

Be careful about "fixer-upper" houses: A fixer-upper can be a great deal, costing significantly less than similar houses in the neighborhood. But before you buy one, make sure you know exactly what you're getting into. A house with a leaky roof that is otherwise in good shape may seem like a good bargain, but replacing that roof could wind up costing you several thousand dollars. On the other hand, a house that has a good roof but has damaged drywall and an ugly kitchen can be fixed up much slower and over the course of several months. While the costs may wind up being similar in the long run, a house that has just cosmetic issues will allow you to plan a more stable long-term budget. Contact a business, such as ERA Key 1 Realty Inc.-Cindy Frank, for more information.