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Shopping for a home? Financial planners offer 4 dos and don'ts for buying in the current market


It's no secret the housing market has been on fire lately. According to the National Association of Realtors, increased demand colliding with a slightly increased but still-limited housing supply pushed the median house price in the US to $363,300 in June.

That's 23.4% higher than the median price buyers expected to pay last year, which helps illustrate why you need to understand the dos and don'ts of participating in such an intense housing market if you want to buy right now.

Do: Know your numbers beforehand, and prepare for a long search

Jason Dall'Acqua, financial planner with Crest Wealth Advisors, acknowledges the reality of the current housing landscape. "It is a competitive market," he says, "but don't let that influence your numbers."

He says buyers need to understand how much they have for a down payment, and what kind of monthly costs can reasonably fit into their budget before starting to look for homes. "Stick to those numbers and don't be lured into going beyond them just because there are other offers on a property," he advises.

Once you understand your home-buying budget, get serious about your house hunt. "One thing I tell all my clients is to look at a lot of homes," says Steve Zakelj, financial planner at Flatirons Wealth Management. "The more homes you see, the more you'll understand things you thought were important may not necessarily really be, and things you hadn't even considered, you may see in a home and realize would actually be quite nice to have."

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