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  1. Determine how much home (condo, etc.) you can afford. You can do this by: 
  2. Where do you want to live?  Consider employment, friends, social activities, and your price range. 

  3. Find a top quality Real Estate Agent. This might be the most important decision you make. We recommend that you not make this decision casually.

    Find Agents that are active in the area you want to live, "interview" Agents, visit Open Houses, or let RealEstateSeattle.com find you an Agent  suited to your needs (at no cost to you) .

  4. Let your Agent know your expectations and time frame. Do you know your expectations?
     
  5. With your Agent, determine how you will search. What times are you available? Do you want a list of homes from your Agent, just to get an idea of possible the neighborhoods, or do you want to go with them first time out?
     
  6. Be sure you have a basic understanding of the entire buying process: finding a home, making an offer, negotiating, having the home inspected, obtaining a loan, the closing process, and possession.
     
  7. If you have a property you will be selling in order to buy a new home, be sure you and your Agent understand how this will work together with the buying process.
     
  8. Create a "wants" and "needs" list of the features you want in your new home, and plan to be flexible with this list.
     
  9. Ads you see don't give much information and not all homes are advertised, so after you have chosen an Agent, let your Agent do the searching and you can support their efforts by looking in the paper and calling them with specifics about homes you find advertised.

  10. You can have fun looking for a home. Each home you see educates you to what you want and what homes are worth are in an area. Communicate with your Agent about what you are learning. Oh yeah, did I mention COMMUNICATE with your Agent about what you are learning?

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