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Amy Hoak almost always has something worthwhile to say about real estate in her MarketWatch.com column, and the latest is no exception. She starts by noting  that the market has gotten more competitive, and more expensive, for home buyers over the last year. But she urges home buyers to “keep a sense of perspective.”

Hoak offers same assessment for the national market that I’ve had for the Flagstaff real estate market: Prices will go up in 2014, but not as fast as they did in 2013. Although I did a double-take today when I heard that a Flagstaff home that sold for $660,000 14 months ago is under contract $50,000 higher. But, it’s an exceptional Flagstaff neighborhood. (And that’s still a lower percentage increase than the median increase for 2013.)

So, Amy Hoak offers six points of advice for buying a home in 2014:

1. Buy early this year rather than later.

2. Hire an expert — an experienced Realtor.® (That’s where we come in — give us a call at 928-714-0001, or start by visiting our Flagstaff real estate website.)

3. Know the market. Your Realtor® will help with that.

4. Know what you can afford. That’s different from what you qualify for — you need to be comfortable with the payment your mortgage banker says you qualify for.

5. Be an attractive buyer. Have all your ducks in a row with a Flagstaff mortgage banker before you start shopping for a home. Also, your offer won’t be competitive if it’s contingent on selling a house that you haven’t listed, and probably not if your listed home is not yet under contract itself. (But don’t give up all conditions — you definitely want to inspect the home you are buying.)

6. Consider other neighborhoods. Be willing to expand your horizons because Flagstaff home inventory is low — remember, it’s only 20 minutes from one end of town to the other!

Read the full article: How to get the best deal buying a new house – Amy Hoak’s Home Economics – MarketWatch.

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To buy or sell any Flagstaff home, please contact us: Flagstaff Elite Team at RE/MAX Peak PropertiesSee what our real estate clients have to say about working with us. To search the Flagstaff MLS, click here!