Message To Our Consumers.
With all the choices in today’s market, how do you go about finding the right home? It’s important to visualize your needs and plan ahead. Know what you want in a home, what’s vital to you, and what you can live without. It’s important to be realistic. Where and what you buy will affect you for as long as you live in the house. Set your priorities before you start looking.
For first-time home buyers this is a new experience, so it’s especially important to do your homework. If you currently own a home, you know exactly what’s lacking. You may need another bedroom or bathroom, or a good school nearby.
First, decide where you want to live. A big part of the answer hinges on where and how you earn a living. People with children have other major concerns: school and safety. Whether choosing private or public school system, beware of transportation arrangements, local real estate taxes, etc. Your lifestyle is also an important consideration. People who frequently dine out, go dancing or to the theater, may want to ensure that they are in close proximity to the things that matter most.
Today, you have many choices in the variety of homes. In addition to the traditional single-family homes, you can buy a townhouse, condominium or apartment condominium or co-op. In condos and other such communities, make sure the rules and regulations, as well as the by-laws, match your lifestyle. This type of housing is great for people who want to own their own space without being responsible for mowing the lawn or repairing the roof; a management company handles that. On the other hand, you’ll pay fees for these services. In addition, you must determine if the monthly fees are worth the services and additional amenities such as a swimming pool or exercise room.
Affordability can be a factor not only in the type of housing, but whether it’s new or an existing home. Old houses often have fine woodwork or interesting nooks and crannies not normally found in new homes. They generally sit on landscaped lots with trees and grown bushes. New homes may cost more, but you can make many more decisions on amenities, colors, carpeting and fixtures. Make sure you’re dealing with a reputable builder, and have an attorney review all documents.
Selecting a real estate professional is an important first step in beginning your search. Ask for personal recommendations to find an individual who is knowledgeable about the neighborhood and has access to the local multiple listing service. Look for an agent who is a REALTOR® member. A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. These professionals subscribe to the Association’s strict Code of Ethics and go beyond state licensing requirements and are committed to continuing education.
Margaret (Peggy) Read, 2020-2021 Board President
Gloucester Salem Counties Board of REALTORS®