Buckner Homes Realty Blog


Your Ocala Home Experts Real Estate News & Market Trends


You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it.

We are here to help you from the beginning of the home buying or selling process through closing and after.  We have great knowledge in getting the right buyer for your home and getting buyers approved. Everyone has different needs and we have the experience to know how to help you.

Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you! 352-266-2637


Nov. 10, 2021

Baby Steps to Financial Freedom



The Ramsey Team has put together a list of Baby Step that if you concentrate on them and complete them You can be Debt Free in no time.   Do One Step at a time and put all you have in that step and you will be amazed how quickly you be Free.



Baby Steps

If you have any questions about these steps give me a call.  I can help you!

Posted in Dave Ramsey Tips
Sept. 19, 2021

Ramsey 12 Lies That Keep you in Debt

Debt—it’s as normal as waking up in the morning and brushing your teeth. But just because debt is “normal” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. We have a fun little saying around here when it comes to debt: Debt is dumb. It really is.

Debt robs your present and steals from your future. Debt keeps you stuck in a cycle that makes it impossible to build wealth. But sometimes, people are so caught up with being in debt, they can’t see a way out.

There are all sorts of excuses people give for staying in debt instead of taking steps to become debt-free, and all of them are bogus. Don’t fall for any of these 12 lies:

1. Debt is normal (or even beneficial).

How many times have you heard one of these money myths:

You need to have a good credit score! (No, you don’t.)

There are good debts—and tax benefits! (No, there really aren’t.)

It’s okay to have a car payment and student loans! (No, it’s not.)


2. Money is complicated.

A lot of people in debt think they have to be some sort of math wizard to understand and win with money. But that’s a load of crap!


3. You’ll never make enough money to live debt-free.

Whether it takes you six months or six years, paying off your debt is possible no matter what your income looks like.

4. The sacrifices aren’t worth it.

Sometimes it’s not about making more—it’s about spending less.


5. Having a budget limits freedom.

Some people in debt don’t even know how much debt they’re in (or how much it’s costing them), because they’re not keeping track of it.


6. You need to keep up appearances.


This comparison game is known as the dreaded “keeping up with the Joneses” mindset. But little do you know, the Joneses have a leased BMW and they took out a huge loan to redo that kitchen.

7. “I want it, and I want it now!”

It’s all fake. A lot of the time, you can’t afford that stuff. And it’s only going to weigh you down.


8. Not using debt is a scary lifestyle change.

Reality is, it’s just as easy to buy things without debt.

9. Getting out of debt isn’t a priority.

As long as I make the minimum payments every month, it’s not that big of a deal.

Uh . . . yes, it’s still a big deal—and an expensive one!

10. You don’t need your spouse to be on the same page.

Money and relationships can be tricky territory, but it’s even worse when a couple isn’t seeing eye to eye. I have tried it and once he got on the same page as me our snowball effect took off and we had money after Friday's.

11. You need a credit card for emergencies.

Look, emergencies happen (Christmas is not one of them, FYI). But that’s why you need an emergency fund. Let a fat stash of cash be your safety net—not some overhyped piece of plastic that charges you fees just for having it.

12. It just isn’t possible.

The truth is, getting out of debt isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline.


Read the whole article at 12 Lies That Keep People in Debt

Posted in Dave Ramsey Tips
Aug. 3, 2021

15 Home Buying Mistakes

Dave Ramsey has great tips to help you no go into debt which helps you in the future.

Here are 15 Home Buying Mistakes you do not want to do-

Mistake #1: Buying a House When You Have Debt

Mistake #2: Buying a House You Can’t Afford

Mistake #3: Not Saving Enough for a Down Payment

Mistake #4: Forgetting About Closing Costs and Moving Expenses

Mistake #5: Not Getting Preapproved

Mistake #6: Getting the Wrong Mortgage

Mistake #7: Cosigning Your Mortgage

Mistake #8: Buying Mortgage Points

Mistake #9: Not Using a Real Estate Agent

Mistake #10: Focusing on Style Over Structure

Mistake #11: Ignoring Resale Value

Mistake #12: Buying Without a Home Inspection

Mistake #13: Not Walking Away From a Bad Deal

Mistake #14: Taking on Credit While Closing

Mistake #15: Forgetting About Insurance


How to Buy a Home the Smart Way

Rhonda Buckner is a Trusted Partner with Dave Ramsey and she will help you understand the way Dave's program works and help you get a great deal for you.


Read the whole article from Dave Ramsey  



Posted in Dave Ramsey Tips
April 29, 2021

Skip the home inspection?


Scheduling Inspections Quickly

With the housing market being so hot right now, I know sometimes it’s tempting to skip the inspection to (hopefully) close the deal.  That’s taking a gamble, we all know that.  In a quick Google search here’s just a few of the recent articles that came up about the topic:

>Should you waive a home inspection? Real estate experts say no.

>More Buyers Are Skipping Home Inspections. Tales of Bats, Termites and Asbestos Should Make You Think Twice.
>In risky move, buyers waive inspections in red hot Twin Cities home market.

"I believe that you always need an inspection, you never know what you can not see with your eyes.  I have see beautiful homes with 60 pages for the inspection." - Rhonda Buckner

"I understand competition is fierce on listings right now and I’m working hard to do anything I possibly can to get the inspection performed quickly so you can proceed with the transaction.  In a market like this flexibility is key and that’s the approach we are taking. " -  Terry Boring

Questions?  Call Strategic Home Inspections anytime and they will be happy to answer questions.  352-867-7625




Posted in Buyers
Feb. 27, 2021

Skipping the Inspection?

Rushing To Buy A Home During COVID

We all know a home is the biggest investment most people will make in their lifetime. This is probably not a big surprise to you but I think an inspection is a critical part of the process. While the vast majority of buyers DO opt for an inspection, recent articles like this one shows it’s not always the case

(and why that's a mistake).

The article, called “ These people rushed to buy homes during COVID. Now they regret it” shows multiple examples of buyers around the country buying a home without due diligence, including skipping the home inspection. It says low inventory is the biggest culprit leading to these bad decisions. Or, as the article says, “…inventory dropped as many homeowners hesitated to list their properties in the pandemic. The result is that much of the country saw a price spike and bidding wars, brokers said, leaving buyers with little to choose from. In these conditions, many are tempted to waive inspections or skip other due diligence they would normally perform before buying a home.”

As we know, waiving the inspection is a gamble and some of the buyers in the article found out the hard way unfortunately. I know sometimes buyers rush to buy a home they love before it’s off the market, but take it from me, they are taking a BIG chance. A chance that's simply not worth the risk. "You run into this lack of awareness and lack of time, which is not a good combination,” the article says. I agree.

Buckner Homes Realty always believes a home inspection should be done. You have the right to do any inspections you would like at your cost to make sure the house is in good condition.  Call your insurance company before you do your inspection because many insurance companies require certain inspection in order to get you insurance. 


Buckner Homes Realty is here to help you though the home buying process and has inspectors and insurance companies and lender that will make it easy on you to buy a home.


Call 352-266-2637                             www.BucknerHomesRealty.com  

Posted in Buyers
Feb. 18, 2021

Title Problems or questions?

Here are some of the title issues that occur most frequently:

You Could Lose Your Home



1.     Forged deeds, mortgages, satisfactions, or releases

2.     Deed by person who is insane or mentally incompetent

3.     Deed by minor (may be disavowed)

4.     Deed from corporation, unauthorized under corporate by- laws or given under falsified corporate resolution

5.     Deed from partnership, unauthorized under partnership agreement

6.     Deed from purported trustee, unauthorized under trust agreement

7.     Deed to or from a “corporation” before incorporation, or after loss of corporate charter

8.     Deed from a legal nonentity (styled, for example, as a church, charity, or club)

9.     Deed by person in a foreign country, vulnerable to challenge as incompetent, unauthorized, or defective under foreign laws

10.   Claims resulting from use of “alias” or fictitious name style by a predecessor in title

11.   Deed challenged as being given under fraud, undue influence, or duress

12.   Deed following nonjudicial foreclosure, where required procedure was not followed

  13.   Deed affecting land in judicial proceedings (bankruptcy, receivership, probate, conservatorship, dissolution of marriage) unauthorized by court

 14.   Deed following judicial proceedings subject to appeal or further court order

 15.   Deed following judicial proceedings where all necessary parties were not joined

 16.   Lack of jurisdiction over persons or property in judicial proceedings

 17.   Deed signed by mistake (grantor did not know what was signed)

 18.   Deed executed under falsified power of attorney

 19.   Deed executed under expired power of attorney (death, disability, or insanity of principal)

 20.   Deed apparently valid, but actually delivered after death of grantor or grantee, or without consent of grantor

 21.   Deed affecting property purported to be separate property of grantor, which is in fact community or jointly owned property

  22.   Undisclosed divorce of one who conveys as sole heir of deceased former spouse



You Could Lose Your Home with these


 23.   Deed affecting property of deceased person, not joining all heirs

24.   Deed following administration of estate of missing person who later reappears

25.   Conveyance by heir or survivor of a joint estate who murdered the decedent

26.   Conveyances and proceedings affecting the rights of service member protected by the Service-Members Civil Relief Act

27.   Conveyance void as in violation of public policy (payment

of gambling debt, payment for contract to commit crime, or conveyance made in restraint of trade)

28.   Deed to land including “wetlands” subject to public trust (vesting title in government to protect public interest in navigation, commerce, fishing, and recreation)

29.   Deed from government entity, vulnerable to challenge as unauthorized or unlawful

30.   Ineffective release of prior satisfied mortgage due to acquisition of note by bona-fide purchaser (without notice of satisfaction)

31.   Ineffective release of prior satisfied mortgage due to bankruptcy of creditor prior to recording of release (avoiding powers in bankruptcy)

32.   Ineffective release of prior mortgage or lien, as fraudulently obtained by predecessor in title

33.   Disputed release of prior mortgage or lien, as given under mistake or misunderstanding

34.   Ineffective subordination agreement causing junior interest to be reinstated to priority

35.   Deed recorded but not properly indexed so as to be locatable in the land records

36.   Undisclosed but recorded federal or state tax lien

37.   Undisclosed but recorded judgment or spousal/child support lien

38.   Undisclosed but recorded prior mortgage

39.   Undisclosed but recorded notice of pending lawsuit affecting land

40.   Undisclosed but recorded environmental lien

41.   Undisclosed but recorded option, or right of first refusal, to purchase property

42.   Undisclosed but recorded covenants or restrictions, with (or without) rights of reverter

43.   Undisclosed but recorded easements (for access, utilities, drainage, airspace, views) benefiting neighboring land

44.   Undisclosed but recorded boundary, party wall, or setback agreements

45.   Errors in tax record (mailing tax bill to wrong party resulting in tax sale, or crediting payment to wrong property)

46.   Erroneous release of tax or assessment liens, which are later reinstated to the tax rolls

47.   Erroneous reports furnished by tax officials (not binding local government

48.   Special assessments which become liens upon passage of a law or ordinance, but before recorded notice or commencement of improvements of which assessment is made

49.   Adverse claim of vendors lien


50.   Adverse claim of equitable lien

51.   Ambiguous covenants or restrictions in ancient documents

52.   Misinterpretation of wills, deeds, and other instruments

53.   Discovery of will of supposed intestate individual, after probate

54.   Discovery of later will after probate of first will

55.   Erroneous or inadequate legal description

56.   Deed to land without a right of access to a public street or road

57.   Deed to land with legal access subject to undisclosed but recorded conditions or restrictions

58.   Right of access wiped out by foreclosure on neighboring land

59.   Patent defects in recorded instruments (for example, failure to attach notarial acknowledgment or a legal description)

60.   Defective acknowledgment due to lack of authority of notary (acknowledgment taken before commission or after expiration of commission)

61.   Forged notarization or witness acknowledgment

62.   Deed not properly recorded (wrong county, missing pages or other contents, or without required payment)

63.   Deed from grantor who is claimed to have acquired title through fraud upon creditors of a prior owner


 extended coverage may be requested to protect  against such additional defects as:


64.   Deed to a purchaser from one who has previously sold or leased the same land to a third party under an unrecorded contract, where the third party is in possession of the premises

65.   Claimed prescriptive rights, not of record and not disclosed by survey

66.   Physical location of easement (underground pipe or sewer line) which does not conform with easement of record

67.   Deed to land with improvements encroaching upon land of another

68.   Incorrect survey (misstating location, dimensions, area easements, or improvements upon land)

69.   “Mechanics’ lien” claims (securing payment of contractors and material suppliers for improvements) which may attach without recorded notice

70.   Federal estate or state inheritance tax liens (may attach without recorded notice)

71.   Preexisting violation of subdivision mapping laws*

72.   Preexisting violation of zoning ordinances*

73.   Preexisting violation of conditions, covenants, and restrictions affecting the land*


And many more…


If you have any questions call Affiliated Title 352-369-4300




Rhonda Buckner


Buckner Homes Realty Inc

2701 Maricamp RD #103

Ocala, Fl 34471


Posted in Buyers, Helping Sellers
Feb. 16, 2021

Top 5 Things to Consider When Working From Home

Top 5 Things to Consider When Working From Home

This past year has brought plenty of unexpected changes to the way that we live, work, and interact with our spaces. The transition to remote working situations has been one of the side effects of the pandemic that will likely continue long after coronavirus.

So with more and more businesses transitioning to a WFH format, prospective home buyers have a whole new rubric for considering their needs when embarking on the journey of searching for the perfect home.

If you are in the market for a new home, what kinds of things will you need to consider to help you create a superb work from home environment? In this article we will take a look at the top five things to consider, from how to arrange your home space to what kind of tech you will need.

1. Separate Your Spaces

While it may be tempting to start work from any old place in the house, stick to the concept of the office. By separating your spaces, you are able to make it clear to the rest of your family that you are at work when you are in the office- and having a separate space for yourself allows you to focus more fully on the task at hand, without a cluttered mind busy with the requirements of home life.

Resist the urge to start working on the laptop from bed, or at the kitchen table. When you look for a new home, take into account which kinds of potential office spaces are available. You will want to find a separate room far away from the center of home activity, if possible. Try to seek out a space with ample natural lighting- studies have shown that exposure to natural light during the workday can improve productivity by up to 40%.

If you can clearly demarcate a professional space with a clean, organized atmosphere in your home, you will be better able to navigate the different aspects of your life. That way, when you “come home from the office”, you can fully relax.

2. Consider Tech Needs

With remote learning, video conference calls, virtual workspaces, digital file-sharing platforms, and online streaming entertainment, your new work from home lifestyle relies heavily on the internet.

Ensure that your home Wi-Fi is up to speed by researching the best broadband speeds available in your area. If the service provided by your current provider does not meet the increased demand established by the transition to remote work, consider switching service providers. Or purchase a new Wi-Fi router that can help boost your home internet performance.

This is an essential foundation for remote working success; you definitely want to avoid fearing that the internet will cut out right in the middle of an important conference call or e-commerce transaction.

3. Establish Sound Boundaries

In addition to marking out a separate space for remote work, you will want to include a sound boundary. Install a surround sound speaker system in your office for calming background music or ambient noise.

There are hundreds of white noise apps geared at helping create a productive atmosphere, and studies have shown that these apps and sound frequencies really can help to improve your focus. If you prefer a more natural sonic background sound, you can check out apps or sites like rainymood.com, a website which simply plays soothing rain sounds around the clock.

If you live in a household with children or pets, you may also want to invest in soundproofing options. Block out the noisy distractions of your children’s online learning courses, or barking dogs by installing panels or insulation. The last thing you want is for that remote business deal meeting to be interrupted by, for example, your loud mewing cat.

4. Customize Your Space

Starting afresh with a brand new office space allows you to plan out the best possible working space for you- especially when it is in your own home. Do some research to find the most comfortable desk chair for your workspace. Keep in mind height, depth, material, and ergonomic options.

Look into how you use your space. Perhaps a stand-up desk would work for you, increasing your circulation and preventing some of the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. If possible, use a separate computer monitor for work than you do for weekend entertainment. Include a desk that is shaped to suit your needs- whether that is full of drawers with ample storage space, or broad and long so you can spread out files and supplies.

Adjust the lighting to help improve your mood and productivity while working from home. Include different options, from intimate desk lamps to clear overhead lighting. Take the time to customize your home office so you feel ready to work each time you enter.

5. Keep it Clean

While it is always important to keep your workspace clean, organized, and free of clutter, this is especially significant now that you are working from home. Plan for unexpected video chats by keeping one wall clear of personal items or too many images, so you can present a clean, professional image onscreen during meetings and chats.

Limit the items on your desk to the bare essentials. Keep your home filing system organized and tidy, so you don’t have to waste time or energy searching through piles of unnecessary documents. Take the time to throw away old files and papers before you establish your home office space. That way, when you sit down to work, you have a clear idea of where everything is and what it will be used for.

Working From Home

Many company employees are finding that working from home allows them to do their jobs better. They are more efficient, more focused, more productive, and less stressed. By keeping in mind the important tips above, you can set yourself up for real success in the home workplace- and enjoy the after work hours all the more for it.

If you are going to start working from home and need more room you can add on or find a new home with an office space.  Buckner Homes Realty is here to help you with selling and buying if need be.  Call Rhonda Buckner 352-266-2637

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 21, 2021

Ramsey Home Inspections

Ramsey Trusted Logo

Home Inspection and Appraisal

You’ve locked down a deal on your home. Great work! But don’t get so gung-ho about moving in that you seal the deal without knowing the house has a nasty problem or two. Big mistake! That’d be like taking a bite out of a juicy apple and finding out it’s rotten with a worm inside. Yuck!

Save yourself a lot of pain. No matter how good the deal sounds, never skip a home inspection.

What Is a Home Inspection?

During a home inspection, a professional examines the condition of the home you want to buy and helps you decide whether or not it’s worth what you agreed to pay for it. If the inspection reveals major problems with the home—like structural issues or expensive repairs—you can ask the seller to:

  • Fix the problem

  • Reduce the price

  • Cancel the contract

Depending on the advice of your real estate agent and the age and condition of the home you’re about to buy, you might also want to get other professional evaluations like a radon test or termite inspection.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

A typical range for a home inspection might be $300–500, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.1 You’ll likely pay for the home inspection shortly after the seller accepts your offer. Keep in mind, the cost depends on factors like the location and characteristics of the home. It may sound steep, but it’s worth paying a few hundred dollars to avoid a costly surprise down the road!

How to Find a Good Inspector

Your real estate agent will probably be able to recommend a home inspector. If you’d rather choose your own, be aware that only about half the states in the U.S. have licensing or certification requirements. In either case, make sure your inspector has plenty of experience.

Other Contingencies

Remember how we said it’s standard to make your offer contingent on a home inspection? Well, that’s not the only contingency that should be on your mind. Here are a couple more contingencies you should know about so you don’t get stuck with a bad deal or a delayed closing date:

  • Appraisal: If you’re getting a home loan, your lender will require an appraisal—which you’ll also have to pay for (bummer). This is when a professional appraiser takes a look at the house you’re buying to estimate its fair market value, and it protects you from paying more than what the home is worth. If the appraisal comes in lower than your offer price, check with your real estate agent for guidance about what to do next.

  • Final mortgage approval: This is when your lender plunges into the depths of your finances to finalize your mortgage. Whatever you do, don’t open a new credit account, take on more debt, or change jobs once you’re under contract. Taking on debt is a bad idea anytime, but any changes to your income and overall financial situation can jeopardize your loan process.

Closing Time

Whoa. Can you feel it? Your journey is almost over. These last few chapters are designed to prepare you for closing, the final step in the home-buying process. Ready? Get set. Go!

Posted in Dave Ramsey Tips
Jan. 21, 2021

Ramsey Making an Offer

Making an Offer and Negotiating Price

Okay, now you’re getting really close to the finish line. You’re probably exhausted after weeks of driving to open houses and repeatedly scrolling through every real estate app known to man.

But all that searching has finally paid off because you feel like you’ve found the one. This house checks all the right boxes: It fits within your budget, it’s in a great neighborhood, and it even has that white picket fence you’ve always dreamed about. It’s time to make an offer the seller can’t refuse!


Get the Price Right

A seasoned real estate agent has knowledge and experience in dealing with home prices and can put you ahead of the competition when it comes time to make an offer on your home. By working together with an agent, you can submit a solid offer that’ll grab the seller’s attention. 

Your agent can provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) on listings and sale prices for homes in the neighborhood where you’re planning to buy. If comparable homes are selling for 5% less than their listing prices, you can reasonably offer 8–10% less than the listing price and leave yourself room to negotiate.

Your agent will guide you through this part, but make sure you listen to their advice. If the market is slow, you could get a deal by making a low offer. But if it’s a seller’s market, other hungry buyers could quickly outbid you. And that’s exactly why you should work with a professional agent.

Submit the Offer

Once you’ve settled on a price, your agent will help you fill out a sales and purchase agreement. It’s basically a legal document that includes all the terms and conditions of the deal, along with important details like:

·         Buyer and seller information

·         Address of the property

·         Closing date

·         Purchase price, lender information and down payment amount

·         Earnest money deposit amount (which can be used toward your down payment or closing costs)

·         Items to be left with the home (like appliances or furniture)

·         Contingencies (like home inspection, appraisal and final mortgage approval)


Once that’s complete, you’ll send the form over to the seller. Remember: Your offer is a legally binding contract. That’s another reason to work with an experienced pro who can make sure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s correctly. A mistake in this document could cost you big time!

Agreeing on terms can sometimes be quick and painless, but it can also be one of the most difficult parts of the process. If you end up in a bidding war with other buyers, don’t panic. Keep a cool head and put your best foot forward. Being preapproved with your lender and having a flexible closing date can give you a leg up on the competition.

Negotiate for the Best Deal

It would be awesome to turn in an offer, have the seller accept it word for word, then live happily ever after. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. The reality is sellers usually come back with a counteroffer that changes or adds to the terms of your offer. And that means it’s time to negotiate!

This is when working with a real estate agent really pays off. Your agent will help you understand how the counteroffer affects you and, if necessary, help you develop a counteroffer of your own.

If you play your cards right, negotiating the purchase contract can save you thousands of dollars not only on the price of the home, but also in valuable amenities (like a refrigerator or oven). That sounds like a fairy-tale ending to us!

When You Get a Counteroffer

No matter what you’re negotiating for, you always want to start from a position of strength. You’ll have the high ground in home-buying negotiations if you:

·         Are a cash buyer

·         Have been preapproved (not just prequalified) for a mortgage

·         Don’t have to sell your current house before you buy

If your negotiations get intense, remind yourself that both parties want the same thing: The seller wants to sell their home, and you want to buy it. Sometimes it pays to compromise on small details to keep moving forward, and a good real estate agent can give you advice about when to give in and when to stand firm.

Understand Walk-Away Power

You know how they say predators can sense fear in their prey? In the same way, a seller can sense if you’re desperate to buy their house—and they’ll often take advantage of it.

That’s why you always need to be prepared to walk away from a deal. Until both sides sign an agreement, either party can reject the offer and end all negotiations. Sometimes it’s just a bluff, but other times it’s best to walk away and live to buy another day—without regrets!

Unfortunately, some sketchy real estate people will wait until you sit down to sign the closing papers before they try to change a deal on you. Why? Because they know you’re emotionally committed to the home and probably won’t back out at that point. The sad part is they’re usually right. It’s dangerous to get too attached to a house before you sign on the dotted line.

Give and Take

Here’s a little home-buying secret: There’s much more to negotiating than simply wrestling over the price. As a buyer, you can negotiate anything. All you have to do is ask! Sellers are often eager to make their deal as attractive to buyers as possible, so you might be surprised at what they’ll agree to.

In exchange for paying their full asking price, maybe you can ask the seller to throw in a washer and dryer. Do you see something that needs to be fixed or replaced? Push for them to pay for repairs. Everything from a new paint job to furniture is fair game. Use your imagination!

You might have to pay a slightly higher price than you originally planned, but you can get something of value in return too. Just remember not to get too hung up on minor details (like paint colors and carpeting) during the overall home-buying process.

Posted in Dave Ramsey Tips
Jan. 21, 2021

Ramsey House Hunting Tips

House-Hunting Tips

Now that you’ve got an experienced real estate agent on your side, you’re finally ready to start house hunting with confidence!


Create a Must-Have List

Before you dive into your search, create a list of must-have home features. For example, maybe your deal-breakers are homes that don’t have central air conditioning, a laundry room or a jacuzzi in the master bedroom (no judgment).

Then, share the list with your real estate agent (and your spouse, if you're married) and use it as the foundation for your home search. This way, your agent will know your nonnegotiables and can help you find your dream home in an area you can afford.

Don’t Mix Up Must-Haves With Nice-to-Haves

Be careful not to confuse things you need with things you want. Sure, it’d be nice to have a house with a beautiful bathroom and perfect color combos. But don’t let an ugly, lime-green bathroom keep you from an otherwise great home in a perfect location. Some buyers may not be able to look past easy-to-fix details like décor and paint color—and that could score you a deal. That lime-green bathroom might mean more green in your pocket!

Focus on Location

Okay, now that you know your must-haves, your next home search priority is to find a location. A good location will make your home even more valuable in the future, and a great neighborhood can turn a nice house into a special family home.

So, what’s a good location? Generally, a neighborhood where you’d like to live is probably a neighborhood where lots of people would like to live—whether you’re a 20-something buying a condo in a swanky part of the city or a family looking for a two-story house with a big backyard in the suburbs.

Personal preferences aside, upscale urban areas and family neighborhoods share common traits that make them good places to buy a home. Here are some things to look for when scoping out the location for your new home:

·         Easy access. Most people don’t want to spend a lot of time driving to work, school or shopping centers. You don’t have to live right next to a business center, but it should be easy to get to important places. Other pluses include nearby libraries, parks and public transportation.


·         Good school districts. Obviously, schools are important if you have (or plan to have) kids. But even if you don’t, choosing a location near a high-scoring school district usually means more money in the bank when it’s time to sell your home. Most states provide test score information online, so take the time to research schools in the area where you want to buy.


·         Solid reputation. A neighborhood's reputation is based on several factors, including the crime rate and how well the residents maintain their homes. You can research crime rates online and drive through the neighborhood to see how your potential neighbors care for their homes.


·         Beautiful view. That’s right, if you find a home within budget that has a gorgeous view overlooking a body of water or with mountains in the distance, you’ve found a keeper. Since you can only change so much about a house’s appearance, something as permanent and rare as a natural view adds a ton of value to a piece of property.


Think of the Future

Even if you believe you’re buying your forever home, you should shop with resale value in mind. Make sure the home you purchase has room to grow in value. Buy the least expensive home in the best neighborhood you can afford. Why? Because future buyers who are shopping in a $200,000 neighborhood won’t be looking for a $300,000 home.

Pay attention to what’s happening in the community where you’re looking to buy. Are home values rising or declining? Are businesses booming or closing? Will the area be attractive to buyers several years down the road? If new homes are being built in the area, that’s a good sign growth will continue. But be careful. You don’t want the area to develop into a business district with your home in the middle. That’d be awkward.

Take Your Time to Do This Right

It can seem like a lot to remember, but don’t worry! You have a real estate pro to guide you through the parts you forget. And don’t be surprised if it takes you a few months before you find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood. Be patient. You need to do this right. If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding an affordable house that’s the best fit for you.
Posted in Dave Ramsey Tips