Once you've determined that you're ready to buy, it's time to begin
thinking about where you want to look. You'll find there are many questions
you must answer about the type of house you want to purchase. For example,
are you interested in an older home or a new one? How big of a home do you
need? Would you like to move closer to certain major roads or freeways?
Your REALTOR® can answer many questions about the homes and communities
you're considering, and in the meantime, there are myriad resources
available for you to begin your research.
Location Is Everything
Do you want to live in a particular city or neighborhood? If you're a
parent, you're probably considering school districts and other
child-friendly options like the proximity to parks. If you're relocating to
an unfamiliar area, you can contact the city or county government for
information about the community. It's a good idea to investiage
crime statistics per
neighborhood when you're narrowing down the areas of your home search.
Or perhaps location is the reason why you're buying in the first place --
to move closer to your work, your spouse's work or your extended family, or
to live within a particular school district's zone. As you're probably
aware, the location of your home can have a dramatic effect on its price.
You may have experienced growing pains in your current home, which prompted
you to pursue buying a new abode. Or you're entering a self-employed
profession and need a home office. Consider all your space requirements
before you start searching for a new home. There's no reason to waste time
looking at two-bedroom condos when you really need a four-bedroom house.
Once you've narrowed down the specifics of your ideal home, where do you
find listings? Your REALTOR® has access to thousands of listings in your
area through the Multiple Listings Service (MLS). He or she will help you
find available homes that meet your criteria. Or, you can start your home
search online through the California