Anyone who has ever purchased a home before can tell you that it’s not always an easy process. From dealing with closing fees and inspections to stubborn delays and last-minute seller disputes, it can be tricky business. Read these tips below to find out how to simplify the real estate-buying process. In evaluating the value of a piece of residential property, you should be cautious about nearby commercial or industrial properties. Keep in mind that while such properties might be inoffensive (or even vacant) at the moment you look at a nearby house, the future holds no guarantees. You should factor in the possibility that an undesirable, unpleasant or even dangerous business might move in at a later date. To select the right city or area for you, you should visit it before thinking about moving there. Ask people who live there what the job market or the school district is like. Make sure you move to an area that will open new careers possibilities for you and your family. Be aware of the homeowner’s responsibilities that may come with a new piece of real estate. Especially in expensive neighborhoods, buying property may require a homeowner to submit to extensive regulations about how his or her home is to be maintained and treated. A homeowners’ association usually has such regulations. Potential buyers should review these requirements carefully before making a decision. A down payment is not the only out of pocket fee that you are going to face when taking out a mortgage on a home. There are additional fees such as the closing cost, and some fees that may be charged by the realtor, that you may be charged before the home is yours. When looking to buy a home, consider waiting until the fall season. It is not during the peak market which allows you to make lower offers on a home because sellers are ready to unload before winter sets in and the market stalls completely. You may get the home that you did not think you could afford at just the right price. Do not skip getting an independent inspection before buying your home. We all want to think that every one involved in the process is going to be completely honest, but you don’t want to risk your future on it. A house may look beautiful on the outside, but without an inspection you don’t know what may pop up shortly after you sign on the dotted line. Look for a number of loan options to save you money when buying real estate. A shorter loan life will save you thousands of dollars over time. If you can’t find one, then a bi-weekly payback will also reduce interest. Before buying your home, know the difference between being pre-qualified for a loan and being pre-approved. A pre-qualification is a preliminary look at your financial situation and doesn’t carry much negotiating weight. A pre-approval means your finances including income, credit and debts, have been checked and that you’ll be likely to get the loan you need in order to complete a purchase. Do not focus on the decor of a house too much when you are looking at a potential home to purchase. Things like paint colors are minor and can be changed after you buy the property, so do not let something like that stop you from making a purchase. If you are not feeling great about a property right away, and you have more than a few reservations about the property, then it is best to look somewhere else. Nobody wants to purchase a home and then have buyer’s remorse set in later. That would be a total waste of time and money. You can request that the seller help out with closing costs or sweeten the deal with other financial incentives when you make your offer on the house you have in mind. It is considered common practice to request that the seller “buy down” your interest rate. A seller is less likely to negotiate over the sale price if financial incentives are attached to an offer. To find the most qualified appraiser, look for someone who has at least five years of experience. Make sure that they have been properly licensed or certified by the state. Don’t hire an appraiser who was recommended by a real estate agent because of the potential for a conflict of interest. Make a list of questions you want to ask, and take it with you when you interview real estate agents. Your questions should all be relevant. For example, ask the agents about the number of homes they sold over the past year, and find out how many of them were in the neighborhood where you’re planning to live. The agent should have the answers to all these questions and discuss these issues as a professional. Once you’ve learned these tips, you can implement them where necessary in order to get the best possible deal on a home or to make the entire process go over smoothly. Above all, though, you need to apply this advice so that no one takes advantage of you. Educated buyers always prevail in the market.