Select A Department:

Courses in this Department

How Ready Are You to Buy a Home?

Determining Your Dream Home and Finding It!

Factory Built Homes Are Worth a Look

Purchase Manufactured Homes with FHA Loan

How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

Pros and Cons of Corner Lots

Know the Neighborhood Before You Buy

Tune in to an Open House on the Radio

Finding a Qualified Broker or Agent

Shopping for a Loan and Choosing a Lender

How to Improve Your Credit

How to Survive the Loan Application Process

Making an Offer and Signing Contracts

Cancel Your Contract in 3 Days

Understanding the Closing/Settlement Process

Choosing Home Inspection and Settlement Professionals

Double Check Your New Home - The Walkthrough

Know Your Consumer Rights

Seniors Have Many Housing Opportunities

Preparing for the Big Day -- Relocating Moving

Make Your Home Your Castle - Cost Effective Redecorating Ideas


Rating Homes and Neighborhoods

Neighborhood Matrix

Chart the features you like and dislike for easier decisions. You can narrow down your list of prospective new neighborhoods by creating a matrix that rates each home and neighborhood according to the six factors we've reviewed. While you won't always find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood that satisfies every preference on your list, you can through a process of elimination find a home in a neighborhood that meets most of your criteria. This matrix offers a quick, objective scoring system for ranking and comparing the homes you visit. Rate each home on a scale of 1 to 5 in each category, with five the most favorable score, then total the scores for each choice.

 Commute Facilities SchoolsCrimeTaxesNuisances Score
Home 1        
Home 2        
Home 3        
Home 4        

Now Let's Learn About the Pitfalls...

...when finding a neighborhood or an agent

1. The biggest pitfall when looking for the best house in the best neighborhood is to avoid looking at things as they are. It is so easy to get swept away by a beautiful home and forget to notice that there is a sewage dump two blocks away. Take your time to find out the real deal before you close the deal.

2. Not taking time to check the crime rate in a particular area. There are several ways to do this. You can contact a number of Internet sites or call your local police department's consumer affairs division.

3. Not looking into schools regardless of whether you have children or not. You may want to sell your home someday and the majority of homebuyers do have children. It pays to check into it.

4. Not checking future plans for the surrounding area. It may be worth noting if there is a new mall going up within shouting distance of your home.

5. Not reading the homeowner's association rules before you buy. It may make a difference in your idea of a dream home.

6. Forgetting to visit the home and neighborhood at night. This gives you a better feel for the safety and community. You may even want to stop by on a weekend when people will be out and about.

7. Thinking that agents are always on your side. They aren't! If you don't hire an exclusive buyer-broker, the agent is also working for the seller and feeding them information.

8. Thinking you can do it all alone just as easily as with an agent. Agent's are trained to do this and have access to information you won't. Yes, you can do it. But it is going to take time´┐Ż.a lot of time! Be prepared.

How did you do?

Are you ready for a quiz? Be sure to review the sections of the course related to your wrong answers!

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