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Get ready for 2005 home-buying battle

Be prepared for competitive real estate market

A low housing supply has plagued many areas around the country. Inventories in many areas are expected to remain lean. Demographic trends portend strong demand as Baby Boomers reach their peak home buying years, and Echo Boomers become major players in the housing market. In a nutshell, if you've been battling competition to buy a home, you may face more of the same in 2005. Don't be disheartened. Be prepared. Educate yourself about the market. If you're attempting to buy in an area where multiple offers are common, make sure you feel comfortable offering over the asking price, if necessary. Look at everything that comes on the market in your price range that could possibly work for you. Be ready to act quickly. Read the purchase agreement that you will use in advance so that you understand what you'll be singing. Confidence is your ally. So, do your research upfront. There are times when you'll have to drop what you're doing and rise to the occasion. If you're not willing to do thi...

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