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Choosing Wisely: Simple Steps That Will Help You Avoid Buyer's Remorse

There are situations in life where it's right to let your heart rule your head, but buying a home is not one of them. Purchasing a home is a huge financial and emotional commitment, and sufficient research and preparation must precede such a purchase to mitigate any sense of buyer's remorse later on. It is all too common for homebuyers to fall in love with a home upon initial viewing and make an offer right away, without the benefit of further information. Only later do they find out that the home suffers from wood rot or the cellar floods every spring. Emotional impulses must be tempered with a rational approach, and all the information associated with homeownership must be surveyed to avoid such a predicament.

Don't Overpay

Buyer's remorse often stems from the price you pay for the home. Without adequate research, it is easy to overpay for a home by referring only to the asking price. The asking price could be 10 or 20 percent higher than market value, which cannot be determined without a thorough analysis of the market. Brokers can offer valuable advice concerning the true value of a home, but to be safe, always conduct your own research as well. Websites such as Trulia (www.trulia.com) and Zillow (www.zillow.com) are excellent resources for researching "comparables," which are homes in the immediate vicinity that are similar to the home you're looking at and have recently been sold. If a slightly newer or larger home down the street sold last month for $25,000 less than the asking price of the property you are considering, you now have sufficient information with which to negotiate the price down.

Don't Skip the Inspection

Buyer's remorse also comes from not conducting an adequate home inspection prior to purchase. Homeowners and listing brokers can dress up a home to make it appealing on the surface, but an assortment of flaws and defects may lie just beneath. Hire a professional home inspector to conduct a thorough examination of the home from top to bottom, including all systems such as electrical, plumbing and heating/venting/air-conditioning (HVAC). If there are no major issues that would cause you to walk away, you can use the minor issues to your advantage in the negotiating process.

Research the Community

Spend several hours driving around the neighborhood to make sure that the home provides you with access to basic amenities. You may find the seemingly perfect home on a quiet, tree-lined street, only to discover that the nearest grocery store is 20 miles away. Also examine access to transportation corridors such as main roads and highways to make sure that you don't have to navigate through 15 blocks of winding suburban streets to get to the nearest on-ramp.

Highly rated schools, access to quality health care, recreational facilities and cultural offerings may also influence your decision. Make a list of all the factors that are important to you, and carefully consider what the property offers before you make a commitment, lest your dream house turn into a nightmare.

For more expert tips on finding the right home, contact the Tampa Bay real estate professionals at BrendaFricks.com. We can help you navigate the Tampa Bay real estate market and successfully avoid buyer's remorse.