Sunday, October 08, 2006

The ABCs Of Buying That First Home


I'm working with a young couple excitedly looking for their first home. We've been exploring the options in their price range while they try to get a handle on the process and find out about the towns they're considering. Like most of their contemporaries, they're very computer literate and on a quest to learn as much as they can before they put their hard earned dollars into an iffy real estate market on Long Island.

There are so many things we, as professionals, take for granted. The terminology of real estate, which we speak every day is as confusing to the uninitiated as learning a foreign language, and consumers have to pick it up in record time to effectively participate in their purchase or sale. With information the key to the kingdom, I have to remind myself on a daily basis to address their concerns and answer the questions I've heard so many times before, hopefully even before they ask. It occurs to me that I should probably write a primer to give them the tools they need to be partners in the process.

Today we discussed the steps they'll take to home ownership. "What happens," they asked, "if we decide to make an offer?" I explained the paperwork involved and the monetary implications. They also seemed surprised that they'll get an inspection done before going to contract. It's important to note here that real estate is area specific, and the way it works in New York is not necessarily how things are done anywhere else in the country.

Feeling a little more comfortable by the time they left, they went home to break down their information overload and determine whether or not they're ready to step up to the plate. Only they know the answer to that one.

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