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6 Homebuyer Checkpoints You Can’t Overthink

If you’re new to the home-buying process, you may have very definite ideas about what you want in a home, but you may be overlooking some important features. Here are six considerations homebuyers are most likely to think about after the fact.

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Too Big? Too Small? Or Just Right?

Think about the future when you’re creating a wish list for your new home. If you’re planning on a population increase in your family — babies, in-laws, perpetual house guests — make sure you buy a house that can accommodate additional bodies or that has potential for expansion. If you are soon to be an empty nester, consider how much house you’ll need when your headcount goes down.

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The Neighborly Thing to do

Check out the neighborhood. Do your potential neighbors take good care of their property? How are the schools? What’s parking like? Are you near shopping, public transportation, expressways, train tracks, an airport? Do you need to worry about flooding?

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The Grass is Always Greener

How much yard is right for you? A big yard means room for pets and kids to run around, but it also means more time mowing and tending to landscaping and gardening. Maybe you love working outdoors. But then again, maybe you don’t.

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A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

Don’t sell yourself short on space. Starting with the kitchen, is there cabinet, pantry and counter space for your dishes, gadgets and groceries? Will there be space in your bedroom closet to house your copious shoe collection? Will both cars, a lawn mower and a snowblower fit in the garage? Is there room to make more room?

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Is the Price Right?

Check online to see how the price of your potential new home stacks up against others in the neighborhood. The price you pay should be based on a logical decision, not a rationalization driven by a twitterpated heart. Be prepared to walk away rather than up your offer.

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Homebuyer Education

There’s no need to be clueless when you begin your home-buying process. Your lender may have an online program that gives you the ins and outs. Otherwise, check out MGIC’s Beginner’s Guide to Homeownership, homebuyers.mgic.com. It’s online. It’s free. It’s got great tools and resources — like a Homebuyer’s Checklist, a Spending Planner and calculators. It can make the home-buying experience a better one for you and make you a better homebuyer — and a great homeowner.

Here are a few more questions no one thinks to ask when buying a house (but should).