Monday, August 04, 2008

A guest post

About a month ago I received an email from a woman named Sarah Scrafford asking if she could post an article here on this blog. She writes articles for a luxury home website and wanted to guest post here to increase her writing profile. I'm happy to oblige Ms. Scrafford on her request and I've copied the article she has written below.

Playing Favorites -- How to Make the Final Buy Decision

You’ve saved enough for the down payment, you’ve lined up a lender for the mortgage and you’ve shortlisted a few homes that suit your needs. House hunting is fun, but not if you can’t seem to make up your mind about which home is perfect for you. As you oscillate between one, the other and the rest, other people may walk away with what may have been the best choice for you. Delay may cost you dear, not just when you lose a prospective home to another buyer, but also when one appreciates to beyond your allocated budget. If you’re unable to make up your mind about which home to put your money on, here are a few pointers to help you reach a final decision:

· Neighborhood Niceties: A good neighborhood that’s safe and crime-free with respectable families is worth every penny you’re paying for that new home. It’s an added bonus if you’re within a stone’s throw of good schools, shopping districts and parks.

· Future Factors: Unlike other major purchases, a home is an investment and not just an expense. So when you buy your house, make sure it’s in an area where prices are bound to go up. Appreciation is good, even if you’re not planning to ever move out. When the value of your home goes up, you can use it to finance a second mortgage or take out a home equity line of credit.

· Compare and Contrast: Look around at the houses surrounding your prospective home and size up what your neighbors have in relation to you. This is not a case of the keeping up with the Joneses, but just a measure of how you can value your home when compared to the rest of the homes in your neighborhood. If your house is larger than most, it’s not going to fetch a higher price than the other houses on the block because neighborhood rates dictate the sale price of a house. In this situation, a house of a similar size in another neighborhood with houses bigger than or equal to yours would be a better option.

· Commute Considerations: Traveling to and from the office or your place of work is something you have to do on a daily basis at least five times a week. So it makes sense to choose a home that’s closest to where you work, all other factors being equal. You’ll save a huge amount on your gas expenditure besides being able to cut your commuting time considerably.

· Pros and Cons: Make a list of all the features that you desire in a house and another list of all that you absolutely do not want. Then visit each house and make a list of all its pros and cons. Compare all your lists with the master-list and choose the house that offers the most advantages.

Buying a home is a significant decision and one that’s important to the general wellbeing and satisfaction of your family. Home is where the heart is, so make sure your heart makes the right decision when it’s time to buy.


This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of luxury homes for sale. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address:

Thank you Sarah for your article, I hope the readers enjoy it.

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