That depends, of course—on your income and other financial obligations; plug them into realtor.com's Home Affordability Calculator for a ballpark figure. And do it before you start shopping, If you see houses you love outside your price range, it opens you up to disappointment. Meet with a lender to get pre-approved for a home loan (added bonus: pre-approval makes you much more attractive to sellers and many seller will not consider an offer without a pre-approval letter).
Yes, you can—but it's the real estate equivalent of walking a tightrope. This is one of the trickiest questions to answer. On the one hand, if you buy a home before you sell the one you're in, you're overextended financially; if you sell before you buy, you might need to rent awhile before finding a new place. But there are ways to do both at once, and one option is to instate a “sale contingency" in your contract. This means you only agree to buy a home if you can sell the one you're in. The only downside is if your seller doesn't agree (which is possible if they want the timing set in stone).
Click Here For A FREE Home Value Report
Totally up to you! While home shoppers these days can look at hundreds of homes online, and only look at a few before they put in an offer. But keep in mind, This varies tremendously for each person. Some people find their home within hours of hunting. For others, it takes months. If you want to streamline the process, it can help to really hone in on a particular neighborhood you're keen on; that said, if you feel limited by your options, it may be time to expand to surrounding areas.
Click Here To Search Homes For Sale
As a rule of thumb, knocking 5% off of the list price won't ruffle any feathers. If it's been sitting on the market for months, you can venture below that, but the bottom line is, You never know how low a seller will go, as they have different motivations for selling. If the sellers are eager to move, you could luck out and score a deal. I always tell my clients the right price is what you are willing to pay for the property.
Click Here For Quick Home Value Reports
While there's no crystal ball on whether a certain home is a bargain and will appreciate, rest assured that with research, you can keep surprises to a minimum. The best way is to check out comps—what similar properties are selling for in the area—and whether those prices have been going up or down in the recent past.
Click Here For Market Watch
Q: How quickly can I close?