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Courses in this Department

Step 1 - Planning

Step 2 - Financing

Step 3 - Selecting

Step 4 - Buying

Step 5 - Owning


Taxes and Fees

Taxes and fees vary greatly from state to state and county to county. Find out if the property taxes for one area are reasonable compared to other jurisdictions. The local chamber of commerce tracks this kind of information. Find out what your annual property tax payment will be. Learn what the tax rate is from the local town or county assessor�s office. To calculate your bill, multiply the tax rate as a percentage times the home�s value. Look out for communities that are building and growing too fast�that could mean a shortfall in services such as school capacity, roads or sewage treatment, and a possible increase in fees or property taxes.

Nuisance Factors

Do you know what the neighborhood is zoned for? Is a property nearby ripe for development? This is especially important when buying a new-construction home in a planned community. Do some research, or you might be sharing your neighborhood with multitudes of people in new homes that didn�t even exist when you moved in.

Your new-home agent can tell you about home construction plans in your housing development, but most agents feel constrained from telling you anything about construction plans by other developers in the area. Your best bet is to do some research yourself at the local town or county planning office.

City planners can tell you about any planned infrastructure improvements, including major roads, schools, industry, etc. For example, you may want to know if there are any planned or existing stadiums, airports, freeways and other facilities nearby that could add noise, traffic and other irritations to your daily existence? Construction can add significant cause for concern around your new home.

Enough, Enough! Don�t feel bad if is this seems like a ton of research. Buying your first home is a bewildering and overwhelming experience. You will have many questions. Will the home and neighborhood provide you or your family all the things we�ve covered? Will the property have strong resale value when you're ready to sell? Let's face it, some of us don't want to start from scratch.

When it comes to buying our first home, we'd rather save time and headaches by getting an experienced real estate agent or broker to guide us through the process. That�s always an option. But in the end it will be up to you to decide whether the neighborhood and house is right for you. So don�t get discouraged and throw your hands up yet. You can always get help later. Either way doing some research and learning up front will only help you through the process.

Next, some Terms to Know and Think & Do Reminders...


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