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Below are some tips which will help you make more informed decisions in your home purchase.
Be careful with houses for sale by owner
Whether being a seller or a buyer, many are the pitfalls if you are not familiar with the house selling/buying process. Although there are exceptions, many people end up facing a labyrinth of unkown pitfalls which have serious ramifications. The fact is neither party knows anything about the circumstances of the other. Often, this leads to misunderstandings and problems that could have been avoided if a competent Realtor was involved.

Decision Making
It is most beneficial for all who are taking part in the decision making to go together to view properties. Leaving one of the decision makers out while others do the leg work can be counter productive. Viewing the properties that are available in your price range is an educational process that leads to an effective decision making.

When deciding to purchase a home, the first step is to get pre-qualified or better yet pre-approved. Contact a mortgage banker or broker, preferably someone you know or has been recommended by a knowledgeable professional or friend. this enables you to become aware of loans for which you qualify and also enables you to determine the price range to search for your home.

Down Payment
Purchasing a home can be an awesome task. Saving for as much down payment as possible is very wise. Do not make any major time payment purchases, i.e. a car, when you are trying to buy a home. This will impact your ability to qualify for the home of your choice. Leave those purchases until after the closing on the house.

After becoming pre-qualified, check out homes in a price range. Being too conservative will limit the equity buildup you could accrue while you reside in the house. Being too liberal with your price range will lead to disappointment since you will be unable to purchase the house. You will then have a more difficult time finding an acceptable purchase in your qualifying range.