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Step 1:  Decide What You Want

When considering a home purchase, it's a good idea to decide what you want first.  Make a list of everything that you want in a home. Even if you can't get everything you want the first or second time you buy, you still need criteria for choosing a home.  If you are like most people, your first home is used to get your second home is used to get your third home, and so on.  People move, on average, every five to ten years.  Therefore, if you keep that list of everything you want in mind, in five, ten or fifteen years down the road you probably will obtain it.

Your list should contain features you want in your home and your neighborhood. Your lifestyle probably affects your choice of home, so think about what you like doing as well as what you don't like doing. For example, if you live for skiing, you probably would not choose to live in a high rise condominium in a big city. However, if you like city life and don't want the hassle of yard or property maintenance, that same condominium might be perfect for you.

Think about what you like doing after work, on weekends, and on vacation.  If you enjoy gardening, that condominium won't work for you; you need a home with a yard or garden plot nearby.  If you exercise, that condominium might work if there is a gym close by.

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