continued from page 1 Developing a simple checklist
The following checklist can help buyers determine what type of home, commute and location
they want and which Realtor to use. The websites noted in this article are some of the resources
available to help in making decisions. Buyers should be aware, however, that the accuracy
of information on these sites cannot be verified.
TYPE OF HOME Condo
• Do you want someone else to
handle maintenance and repairs?
• Are you prepared to pay monthly
• Will you have funds available for
any special assessment costs?
• Do you want the amenities offered
in a condo community?
If you answered “yes” above, a condo
may be the right choice for you. Find out more about condo living and
costs at www.allaboutcondoliving.com.
• Do you want privacy and space for
a growing family?
• Are you willing to take care of
maintenance and repairs?
You are among the majority who prefer
single-family homes if you answered “yes” to these questions. Visit
for more information on the pros and cons of multifamily and
• Do you want to offset some costs
of homeownership by renting out
part of the property?
• Are you prepared to cover total
mortgage payments if some rent
If you responded “yes” to the
questions above, you are a candidate
for a multifamily home.
You may be willing to have a longer commute if you can get the right
home at a lower price. But commuting farther comes with a price of
• What will be the additional costs each year for gas, maintenance and
car depreciation? How does this compare with the money you save with
a lower-priced home?
• What about the wear and tear on you?
Determine driving costs with a commute calculator found on
Which of the following environments most appeals to you?
• City • Town • Suburb • Country setting
Once you decide, select which areas within that environment are
the best choices for you.
Websites such as www.Zillow.com and www.Trulia.com can
help you with an overview of real estate in these areas, and
www.City-Data.com provides geographical data and statistics
on crime, cost of living, climate, hospitals, schools, air pollution
and other quality-of-life issues.
Ask for referrals from people who have had good experiences with a
local Realtor. As a rule, choose a buyer’s broker – whose allegiance is to
you – rather than a traditional broker, who represents the seller.
“Whatever you do, never let on that you’ve fallen in love with a home,”
said Gershkowitz. “You lose all your bargaining power.”
For more information on the homebuying process and all
the benefits you receive as an MTA member from Berkshire
Bank, please contact 866.475.HOME (4663) or e-mail
All program and pricing information was current at the time of publication (February 2015) and is subject to change without notice.
To find out what may have changed, please call MTA Benefits at 800.336.0990.