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Location, location, location! You may have heard this statement in relation to successful businesses
and good housing. You must understand a number of important factors when it comes to location and
purchasing a house, including these:
▪ Neighborhood safety and security—Talk to people living in the neighborhood. Look
at the local crime and accident reports.
▪ Proximity to work—Drive to work during rush hour. You would be surprised to see
how much “drive time” increases during peak hours, and it varies considerably based
on location and closeness to highways.
▪ Proximity to shopping and restaurants—You don’t want to drive fifteen minutes to
get to the grocery store.
▪ Proximity to schools—Will your kids (or future kids) get bus service? Are the schools
easy for you to get to?
▪ Quality of schools—It’s important to be located where there are top-rated schools, if
not for your child’s education, then for your home’s resale value.
▪ Traffic—Is there too much traffic going through your neighborhood?
You may find the perfect house in the best location, but you still need to get it at the best possible
price. Things to consider in regard to pricing include the following:
▪ Current price—Don’t overpay. The only way to do this is to research housing prices in
the area and learn the average price per square foot for houses that have been selling. A
good place to find this information is
▪ Appreciation potential (and resale value)—The likelihood that the price will
increase in the future is based on many of the location criteria discussed above, along
with acquiring the home at a good price.
▪ Utilize effective negotiation
– Make sure the sellers know you are looking at several houses and theirs is just
one option.
– Find out what the house’s “Achilles heel” is, and bring it up when offering a
– Always offer a price that is at least 10 percent below the listed price. You can
always increase your price later.
– Discuss with the seller any maintenance fees and the costs associated with them.
Use the Internet to research all of the above areas. Also, ask anyone and everyone questions.
Obviously, your realtor is important in your evaluation process. However, be certain he or she isn’t
biased about certain areas (or just trying to make a sale). In other words, it’s mandatory you use a
high-quality realtor who knows the area where you’re searching for homes.
Your home is the single most important purchase you will make in your life, and it will weigh
significantly in your future approach to personal money management. Make sure you take the time and
put in the effort to evaluate it properly. The next principle will help you do so effectively.

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