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Local real estate markets, such as Suffolk real estate, have very different characteristics, so searching through listings may seem complicated. However, whether you are working with a real estate agent or searching for your home online, there are a few tips you can follow to have the best home-buying experience.

Fit

Your home should fit your family. Yes, you want to consider the future, but don’t purchase a home that is significantly too big for you. Larger homes are more difficult to resell because they have a narrower buyer pool. Therefore, choose a home that fits your current needs with a little extra room for the future if you plan on expanding your family.

Budget

Set a budget that is no more than 2-3 times your gross annual income, and don’t get a mortgage whose monthly payment is more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay. Consider getting your loan pre-approved so you aren’t tempted to overspend.

Also, search for and tour homes that are within your budget. Don’t tour homes that are significantly outside your budget because this causes frustration and may encourage overspending.

Be Location Focused

Choose safe neighborhoods that have increasing home values. Look at satellite photos of the neighborhoods to search for drawbacks, such as railroad tracks, dilapidated homes or buildings and ditches that collect debris and trash. Drive around the neighborhood at different times of the day to evaluate noise and traffic patterns. Look for good schools or other amenities you want, such as parks or greenway paths.

Consider Condition

Often times, you can get the home you need at a much lower price if you are willing to do a little work. Even if you hired a contractor to do the work, you may still pay significantly less than the home is worth, creating built-in equity. In addition, most any renovation you complete within your home adds value to the property. Even cosmetic changes, such as changing light fixtures and painting walls, add value.

If you are looking for a new home, consider working with a high-quality, knowledgeable realtor.