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What should I look for when deciding on a community?
Select a community that will allow you to best live your daily life. Many people choose communities based on schools. Do you want access to shopping and public transportation? Is access to local facilities like libraries and museums important to you? Or do you prefer the peace and quiet of a rural community? When you find places that you like, talk to people that live there. They know the most about the area and will be your future neighbors. More than anything, you want a neighborhood where you feel comfortable in.
How can I find out about local schools?
You can get information about school systems by contacting the city or county school board or the local schools. Your REALTOR® may also be knowledgeable about schools in the area. Internet sites like Schooldigger.com and GreatSchools.org also offer a wealth of information.
How can I find out about community resources?
Contact the local Chamber of Commerce for promotional literature or talk to your REALTOR® about welcome kits, maps, and other information. You may also want to visit the local library. It can be an excellent source for information on local events and resources, and the librarians will probably be able to answer many of the questions you have. Then, of course, there's the internet.
How can I find out how much homes are selling for?
Your REALTOR® can give you a ballpark figure by showing you comparable listings. If you are working with a REALTOR®, they should have access to comparable sales maintained on a database.
How can I find information on the property tax liability?
The total amount of the previous year's property taxes is usually included in the listing information. If it's not, ask the seller for a tax receipt or contact the local assessor's office. Tax rates can change from year to year, so these figures maybe approximate.
What other tax issues should I take into consideration?
Keep in mind that your mortgage interest and real estate taxes will be deductible. A qualified real estate professional can give you more details on other tax benefits and liabilities.
Is an older home a better value than a new one?
There isn't a definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its individual characteristics. Generally, older homes may be in more established neighborhoods, offer more ambiance, and have lower property tax rates. People who buy older homes, however, shouldn't mind maintaining their home and making some repairs. Newer homes tend to use more modern architecture and systems, are usually easier to maintain, and may be more energy-efficient. People who buy new homes often don't want to worry initially about upkeep and repairs.
How many homes should I consider before choosing one?
There isn't a set number of houses you should see before you decide. Visit as many as it takes to find the one you want. On average, homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing one. Just be sure to communicate often with your real estate agent about everything you're looking for. It will help avoid wasting your time.