- Know your budget - the first step towards finding a new home is knowing how much you can afford. Prepare your financial details, statements and proof of income. Check your credit score and history. Speak to a mortgage expert; inquire about home loan rates so you can get an idea about what you can spend.
- Decide what you consider to be your perfect home - location, number of rooms and stories, size of yard and garage, how many bathrooms and bedrooms, etc.
- Figure out how you'll be looking for a home - are you going to do most of the work and research yourself or hire a real estate agent? There are a lot of ways to search for a property - internet, newspapers, friends and relatives referrals. The best option, however, is hiring an agent. Real estate agents know the market and have the knowledge to get you a good bargain, saving you a great deal of time and frustration.
- See as many homes as you can. Sure, it takes time and traveling but it will be all worth it once you find that perfect home at a great price. When you find a house you're interested in get an assessor - they'll give you an expert opinion on what the property is really worth.
- Research, research, research. Before buying you'll need to know where you'll be living - learn as much as you can about the area, the neighborhood, crime rates, resell times, market values. These factors are just as important as the house itself.
Here are some great places to get you started in your search for Long Island real estate: