Bigger isn’t necessarily better:  We are naturally drawn in to the ideal that bigger is better.  The same is not true when buying a home.  A bigger home can often mean a bigger mortgage payment, higher expenses and more maintenance.  Also, buying the biggest, best home on the block can set you apart from the neighbors.

The appeal for the biggest home on the block is limited because it is different than the natural appeal of the neighborhood.  If the neighborhood is full of ranch homes with one car garages set within the one hundred and fifty thousand dollar range and you purchase the only home within the neighborhood with two stories and a two car garage for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars you have basically bought a house with little appreciation value overall.  Buying the worst home leaves a lot of room for appreciation upwards towards the highest valued home in the area.

Consider More than just the Mortgage Payment: The mortgage payment is not the only payment you need to concern yourself with.  It is just one of the many expenses that you will accrue when owning a home.  Consider the costs that come with owning a home before saying yes.  Look at the utilities as well as the hidden fees that are often unspoken like grinder fees and water fees.  Uncovering these sleeper costs will ensure that you are covered and can truly afford the costs that are associated with buying the new home.

Avoid Being Over Emotional:  Never buy a home based on emotions.  When you fall in love with a home you often make irrational choices that lead to bad financial decisions.  Trust your instincts.  Go for the overall value of a great house verse the obsession of a certain aspect of another.  As with any investment it is best to relax, breathe and think before reacting.

Have an Inspection Done: Never buy a home without having it inspected by a professional home inspection company.  It will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.  Being prepared for what is wrong with the home will allow you to negotiate prior to closing.  This ensures that you are at an advantage during the bidding process.  An inspection will prevent you from overbidding.  Paying too much for a home that has hidden work that needs to be done to keep the space in working order is a sure way your home will not build the equity you hope for.

Get to know the Neighborhood: Truly stalk out any neighborhood you are looking into before putting an offer in on a home.  Get a copy of the HOA rules and regulations, do a dry run to work at the times you will be going and coming and observe the behavior of the people within the subdivision.   Research the schools in the area as well, even if you do not have children.  A solid school district can increase the price a buyer is willing to pay for a home by up to twenty percent.

The number one secret in buying a home is using a qualified real estate agent who knows the local area and understands your needs as a buyer.  This will help determine if you get the home buying experience you have always dreamed of.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at