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Tips on buying the right home

The housing market is hot, but there are things you need to consider before selling your house and buying another.

ATLANTA — Everyone is taking advantage of the hot housing market, but before you dive in, there are things to consider to make sure you get the best deal.

Andrew Carswell of the University of Georgia's College of Family and Consumer Sciences says you’ll have a better shot at buying that dream home if you can do it without financing.

“If you’re going to finance, don’t put less than 20% down because the numbers aren’t good for the probability of defaulting,” Carswell said.

Buying a home in a good school district is important, but Carswell says it’s also critical to find a home that’s close to the places you’ll need.

“You could have what seems to be a good neighborhood, but you find out the nearest drug store is five miles away,” he said.

Take a good look at the tax rate in the area where you want to buy.

Also consider the age of the home and its appliances. A home that’s more than 25 or 30-years-old can bring added costs long after you’ve moved in.

“All kinds of things can fall apart,” Carswell said. “Energy costs can go up because the house is leaky.”

There are housing counselors to help guide you for little or no cost.

“To make sure you’re doing everything right,” he added. “They set you up for a good post-purchase experience.

Experts say winter is the slowest time of year to sell a home.

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