Byline: BARBARA PETERS SMITH
Nothing is so full of fear and fascination as the quest for a new place to live. Even in such excellent buyers' markets as the current one, there are always the worries about getting the most for your money -- and the dream of finding the sort of contentment that money can't buy.
With emotions running high and patience sometimes running thin, most home shoppers run the risk of forgetting everything they've been told -- whether they're closing in on the house they really, really want, or seriously considering the one they're afraid they'll have to settle for. So we've put together a simple road map for just such a situation, to bring you back to reality when you need it most.
Last week, we consulted Southwest Florida Realtors and came up with 10 tips for home sellers. So, just to be fair, we've revisited the topic from a buyer's point of view -- with the help of some other real estate professionals who have learned to look through the eyes of a house hunter.
So here you are, happy hunters: 10 tips to keep you on the right path.
1. Do your homework before you cross the first threshold. The more you know about communities, schools and neighborhoods that interest you, the more confident you'll be about closing in on a selection. Take time to read, talk to people and look around before you give yourself a chance to fall in love with a particular home, and make sure that the people helping with your selection can give or get you information on the area.
"I always tell people not to assume anything," says Linda Seaborne Starcher, a Realtor with RE/MAX Properties in Sarasota. "It's OK to be curiosity-naive, as long as you're not assumptive-naive. You need to research and question everything that's going to be important to you."
Just as important as knowing the where you want to go, says Realtor Mary Jane Ewing, …