Purchasing your own home is an emotional roller coaster ride. It can be nerve-wracking, exciting, intimidating and sometimes can even be complicated. As a serious home shopper, it can take you anywhere from 3 months to over a year just finding that perfect home.

You may find the perfect place, only to find out it’s out of your price range. That fixer-upper property you’re eyeing? It may not exactly be in a desirable location for you. You may or you may not experience this during your home buying journey, but there are several ways to help you buy smart and it all begins with researching.

Here are simple ways for you to understand the real estate market:

  • There are things that you can control and there are those that you can’t. There are a couple of terms you will need to be familiar with – “buyer’s market” or “seller’s market”. You will want to be on the buyer’s side of the equation. In this area, the prices are reasonable, there are tons of choices within your budget and financing is actually quite easy. It’s a rare combination of circumstances, but it does happen. In a seller’s market type of setting, you will already have other people already vying offers for that home you are interested in. If you happen to chance upon this, just be patient – the opportunity might just be around the corner. This type of “hot market” may be in some areas where it could be suburban single-family homes, while in other places it could be with townhomes or one-bedroom condos.
  • Know how strong is your market. If you are in Norway, check out your local market and see where it stands by comparing information that you will research on. Once you get details and you are well-informed, you can make smart decisions about whether to buy or wait it out for a bit.
  • Don’t think the house is already yours just yet. Have other homes in mind. Don’t rely on done deals or verbal agreement until you are already signing a contract.
  • Shop around and compare prices of the property. You can easily go online and get a rough estimate of a certain type of property that you’re looking for, however, it’s still best to get the assistance of a real estate agent. Aside from seeing the property over the internet, you should also make an actual visit. Some photos can’t do justice on how gorgeous a property is unless you see it in person. This can be quite helpful to fine-tune your budget and when you’re ready to make an initial offer.

Keep in mind, that being informed and knowing about your local real estate market is a basic step towards getting the home you’ll love and live in, without missing an opportunity or overpaying.