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best home buying strategy

Want to move in 2 years to a view property in puget sound, washington area.  Live in Everett, wa. now.  Is it to soon to be looking?  Best websites, realtors, etc.  Can't afford more than $400.000 so timing has to be perfect.
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May 24 2012 - Shoreline
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Keep an eye on the homes in the area, a local Realtor, who works the area you are interested in, can send you updates. It will help you get a sense of the area....best websites? If you dont know a local realtor, email me and I will make a suggestion (refer you to one)
Also, go to the Open Houses in the area...be careful though, you might see a house you are not ready to purchase .
Why do you think  you cannot purchase right now, have you spoken with a lender? That area is seeing a stronger market, in two years, the house you want may be too expensive. Talk to a lender...its always the first step in purchasing a home anyway.
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May 27 2012
You definitely should be looking now if you have all the intent to move. An agent can set up an automated search for you that will show you all houses coming on the market that might be of interest to you.

You can also have them include all sold houses.. I prefer sending those to my clients myself, since listing price is one thing.. you want to know what houses are selling for!! This way you are better informed and know to pay the right price for the right property.

To set up a search for you isn't that difficult to do so again, yes, have a look already now, so you are a savy and informed buyer when you are ready.
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May 26 2012
Use [website deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines] it has all the properties - and, if I do say so myself, the best Realtors®. But the real point is - it has all the properties.

Please get back to us and tell us where you've decided to focus your search!

All the best,
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May 24 2012
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Unfortunately the best web site for finding MLS (realtor) listed properties is www.realtor.com. Their interface is horrible but their listings are the best a non-realtor can get. You can set up a search and get daily listings from them.

Other sites like www.forsalebyowner.com allow you to find property for sale without a realtor. Zillow here also has several for sale by owner properties so keep looking here also.

It is not to early to look at houses now. By looking now and learning as much as you can when the time comes to buy in 2 years you will have a much better idea of what property sells for in that area. It also will give you some ideas how buying real estate works if you read the questions and answers posted here. That way you can learn about potential problems and how things work in the buying process.

If you read the links below you can get some good ideas you may not have seen before.
"Its your first home and you are looking for something but are not sure where to start to look or about loans."

"I want to buy a house. It will be at least one year before I am ready to buy. What should I do now to prepare myself?"

"How do I get a down payment to buy a house? The ideas below worked well for me. They could help you also."

"What should I watch out for when choosing a home to buy so that I don't jump into a money pit?"

"Questions I would ask when purchasing any property."
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May 24 2012
I would get into contact with a buyers agent in that area.  They can keep an eye on things for you while you are waiting to move.  Wouldn't hurt to go look at a few houses to see what you can get for the money in the area now.  Something could always pop up that would intice you to move earlier or get a really good deal.  Best of luck.
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May 24 2012
Is it too soon to start looking? I don't think so, but I'll answer in a Yes/No fashion...

Yes in the fact that inventory can change quickly in our area (especially view properties). Beyond that, lending guidelines seem to change even quicker. Along with market trends, the homes that are available and what you can afford based on where these trends/rates go over the next couple of years may change dramatically.

No in the fact that it's never a bad idea to set up a search (either on your own or with an agent) to get a feel for what comes on the market in your price range. I find that many of my buyers change their expectations after a few weeks of sending them homes in their price range. With 2 years to analyze the market, you have time to become an expert in the area and price range you are looking in...so when a great deals pops on the market, you will know to move quickly if it fits all of your criteria.

I may be biased, but the easiest (and most accurate) way to set this up would probably be to have a Realtor set up an auto-search on the Multiple Listing Service with the very specific criteria that you specify. That way, these homes can be sent to you on a consistent basis and you can follow up with the agent on any specific questions so you can start to develop an understanding of the market, why one listing says this or is priced like that, etc. After a few months, you'll start to see trends that will be extremely helpful to you when it's time to buy!

Hope that helps - feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
Ryan Halset, Realtor®, ABR®
Boardwalk Real Estate, LLC | Lake Forest Park, Wa
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May 24 2012
looking now is a good idea in order to get a baseline as to what is available    and so you can adjust your  timing  or gameplan as needed

largest wildcards  are  1) real estate prices   2) itneterest rates ...these will both change  and  will both affect  your  plans
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May 24 2012
 
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