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By Dan Golden | Agent in Bucks County, PA

Five things buyers should keep in mind

So, you are thinking of buying a house in 2014. Congratulations. Here are five things you might want to keep in mind before you buy.

1. SCHOOLS:  If you have children, check out the school district where you will be living. You will want to know how schools in the district stack up against others in the district and against other school districts in the area. A great tool for comparing school districts is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Some of the results you will be able to find on this new site are the PSSA test scores for students in grades three to eight, results from AP testing, graduation rates, student poverty levels and number of English language learners. To view the website, go to paschoolperformance.org

2.  LOCATION: Know where you are and what’s around you. Can you hear traffic from a busy road? Does an outdoor shooting range intrude on you time outside in the spring and summer? Any odor in the air? Are you near shopping, medical care, public transportation? Does your prospective community have its own police and firefighters? These things matter. Stop by your prospective neighborhood at different times during the day to find out before you buy.

3.  LOVE THE SPACE, NOT THE DÉCOR: You are not buying the furniture and decorations. You are buying the space. It can be difficult to separate the two in your mind when you see a houseful or furniture in front of your eyes, but you have to try. Be certain the space suits you and your family. Is there space to grow? Are you comfortable in the space? Can you fill and maintain the space without breaking the bank?

4. WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD: Talk to a mortgage professional.  In fact, talk to a couple of them, because just like everything else, you get a better deal when you shop around and get familiar with the terms and the costs. Mortgage providers want your business, and they are willing to sweeten your deal to get it. A professional will tell you how much you can afford to pay for a house and the kind of mortgage you can get to pay for it .        

5. YOU’LL KNOW IT WHEN YOU SEE IT:  I’m not a firm believer in love at first sight, but when it comes to picking a home to buy, it has been my experience that buyers usually know the house they want when they see it.  The house will have a combination of attributes that they like and want in a house. It might not have every single one of them, but it will have many of them; or it will have the one attribute most important to the buyer    

Have a question about real estate in Bucks or Montgomery counties. Call, email or text me.


Dan Golden

Coldwell Banker Hearthside



Office 215-794-1070 Ext. 117


By Deborah Bracco-718-619-5701,  Fri Jan 17 2014, 10:20
Good blog Dan! Great advice and can't tell you how many times buyers have said "home is too cluttered!"
By Dan Golden,  Fri Jan 17 2014, 12:21
Hello Deborah, thank you for the comment. Often the clutter makes it difficult for the prospective buyer to see the space. You have to employ a bit of imagination to do it, and some people have difficulty doing that.

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