Hello neighbors,

buying a residence can be a hair-raising experience. For most of us, the first time home purchase is the largest investment we've ever considered, and the emotions of purchasing something so expensive and personal can often cloud one's judgment.

Most home purchasers do little or no research before they invest their nest egg. Doesn't it make sense to become as completely informed as possible before you buy your first home? With that in mind, here are a few pieces of advice :

1. Inspect, Inspect, Inspect - Go over the inspection report with a fine tooth comb. Make sure the report was done by a professional organization. For condo purchases, go over the CC&R's, By-Laws, and Association Fees. Don't take anything for granted... inspect everything!

2. Imagine the Property Vacant - Your furnishings and decorations will be the ones filling this new residence. Don't be swayed by beautiful furniture; it leaves with the owner.

3. Income + Lifestyle = Mortgage Payment - Sit down with your professional real estate agent and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. Take into account future considerations, children, add-ons, amenities and fix-ups. Your dream home is certainly worth a sacrifice, but don't mortgage your entire future.

4. View Several Homes - See at least 7-10 properties. Don't move too slowly but don't move on the first property you see. With your agent's help you should be able to view enough properties to get a good overall perspective of the home market. When you find the right property, all the legwork will be have been worth it.

5. Utilize Your Team - By aligning yourself with the right real estate professional, you will have an entire team at your disposal. Utilize your lender, title rep and agent. Each of them should work hand in hand for your benefit. Explore all the options before you sign.

For these and 5 more tips, be sure to stop by our office and pick up our pamphlet, "How to Stop Paying Rent and Own Your Own Home Instead!"