Buying a new home can be an exciting time in your life, if you plan your home search correctly. Most people begin by browsing through listings online in the city they are in or planning to be in. However, you may end up in a stressful situation if you are prepared. There are several things you need to consider before actually buying a home.
Here are the five things you should do before you begin your home search.
- Get Pre-Approved
Before you look at any homes for sale, get pre-approved for a mortgage. You’ll know your exact budget within which you can work, and it will help you narrow your search accordingly. This helps in two ways. First, you’ll know whether or not your dream home is within reach, and secondly, you’ll avoid being disappointed if you find the perfect home, tour it, and then discover it is out of your budget. Getting pre-approved may also be pleasantly surprising as you could qualify for more than you think.
- Decide on Must-Haves
Many people begin their home search with a long list of things they would like to have. As the search begins, they quickly discover that finding a home that has everything they want within their budget is nearly impossible. The best way to approach this is to write down everything you want in a house and put each item into one of three lists. Separate them by your must-haves, your would-like-to-haves, and your wildest dream house wish list. This will help keep you focused on the important things to you in your search.
- Research and Decide on Neighborhoods
Not every neighborhood is equal. While you may know what kind of house you want and your budget, choosing the right neighborhood is just as important. Choose a neighborhood that matches your lifestyle. Look for amenities, schools, commutes, and neighbors that fit your wants and needs. Decide which of those features is most important and don’t budge on it. You might find the perfect home, but you end up trading hours of your day driving to and from home. Think long term and pick the perfect neighborhood for you and your family.
- Choose a House Style
As you begin your home search, you might find there are many homes for sale in your area. You don’t need to tour every listing in your zip code. Determine the specific needs of your family and choose a house that fits those needs. If you have small children, for instance, a two-story home may not be a great fit if the bedrooms are on different floors. You also may want to avoid homes located on busy streets, if your kids play outside regularly. Do you work from home? Take that into consideration, too. The right house style will make all the difference.
- Track Each Home Visit
Unless you find the perfect home right away, the features of each individual home will start to blur together after you’ve looked through several. Take photos of things you love and things you don’t in each home. Keep the listing sheets for each home as well so you can reference them with your photos. Don’t forget to also take a photo of the listing yard sign for reference as well.
Searching for the perfect home can be enjoyable if you plan ahead. Follow these steps and you’ll find the perfect home for you and your family. If you’re ready to start your search now, you’ll find the whole process much easier with the right realtor. We’ve been helping people find their dream home for decades and we know how to make home buyers happy. Call Good News Bob today and get started on your search. You’ll be glad you did!