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Excellence in Real Estate

Understand the process.

Buying real estate is a complex matter and can be especially confusing for the first-time homebuyer. Do yourself a favor and learn as much about the process as you can before you begin. There are plenty of resources on the Internet, and most real estate offices will have pamphlets to explain things in plain language. You may also be able to research the real estate process by attending community-sponsored classes, or you can take a look at books like Home Buying For Dummies by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown, (IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.)

Determine your housing needs.

How long do you intend to live in your new home? Will you be starting or adding to your family? Do you have any special requirements such as proximity to stores, public transportation, recreation facilities, etc.? These are the sort of things you should consider when deciding what kind of housing you will need--not just now, but also five years from now. Remember, if you intend on moving again relatively soon, you should get a shorter term when choosing your mortgage.

Don't buy the first house you see.

If you like the first house you see, don't be tempted to make an offer right away. You should look at least a few other houses first so you can get an idea of the homes that are available in your price range.