Given that a new home as your primary residence is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make, it’s one you need to think carefully about and one that you need to consider maximizing your potential outcomes on. This is why you need to think about the best way to get a deal when purchasing a new home.

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Hire the Right Real Estate Agent

Many people choose to work with the first real estate agent that they happen to meet with. This can be a major mistake, however, since you want to interview a few different agents who have experience in the neighborhoods you’re interested in. Make sure you feel comfortable with the agent’s personality as well since this individual could be working with you for several weeks or even months. You want to identify someone who has the right knowledge of the real estate market. “We often get clients that have been burned by working with inexperienced realtors before, this can be demoralizing in your hunt for a new home. Always make sure to shop around and interview every agent you come in contact with” is the advice Elionora Dudayeva offers, founder of Chance Realty, a Boca Raton Real Estate Agency.

Familiarize Yourself with the Market

A good real estate agent will be able to tell you if a list price on a home can be misleading. For example, if the home is in a highly desired neighborhood, a $400,000 sticker price could actually mean $500,000. Likewise, a real estate agent can give you more insight on the inventory conditions in the area in which you want to live.

Taking a tour around the area is a great way to see what’s happening in the neighborhood. You’ll get an idea of budgets as well as the kinds of styles most popular with people there and you can also get a feel for what the areas are like, too. Pictures are great, but they don’t tell the whole story. Count on an experienced realtor to help you with the process so you can identify something right for your individual needs.

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Know Your Own Finances

You should never go into the process of attempting to purchase a home without being clear about your own finances. This is why getting preapproved for mortgage and budgeting ahead for the down payment and the closing cost will give you a good perspective on what you can actually afford. Some buyers who are thinking about staying in the home for a shorter period such as up to 10 years might consider an adjustable rate mortgage instead. Make sure you are prepared to handle the interest rate resets that are scheduled after the introductory period, otherwise you could notice that your payment goes up significantly.

Make sure you also consider the kind of mortgage bill that you would actually be comfortable with on every single month. Identifying your dream home could crash down relatively quickly if you’re not able to keep up with the payments. Being preapproved for a mortgage prior to shopping will help sellers interpret your intentions more seriously especially when they are considering multiple offers. Partnering with the right real estate agent and doing your homework well in advance can have major benefits for you as a home purchaser.