Beginning a home search can be a daunting task. And during real estate high-season, there is typically a lot of inventory to choose from, therefore making your decision even more difficult. The tips listed below will help you prepare for your home search and stay focused when decision-making gets tough. There are already so many important choices to make when purchasing a home; make it as easy on yourself as possible!
Ten Essential Home-Buying Considerations:
1. Define your top priorities.
Before you even set foot inside an open home, determine what your must-have neighborhood and home features are. Do you need to live walking distance from a good school or a park? Do you need a certain number of bedrooms or a single-story home? Making a list of top priorities in advance will help weed out homes that don’t fit your criteria before you even step inside.
2. Research neighborhoods.
You may be here for awhile, so be sure you like the neighborhood you choose! Read about potential neighborhoods to determine whether they meet your requirements, and if you can, visit them before you start looking for a home.
3. Consider the future.
Are you planning to have children? Is having extra room for frequent guests a priority? Do you love gardening? Consider your space and floor plan needs for both present and future.
4. Define a price range and stick to it.
Take a close look at your finances to determine what price range you can afford while shopping for your home. It’s easy to overspend on such a large purchase; having a solid price range in mind now will save you many budget headaches later.
5. Set realistic expectations.
While it’s good to be picky when searching for a home, it is also important to be realistic! Keep your list of top priorities in mind while you look, and consider which of these items you can do without.
6. Consider down payment options.
There are many options available for first-time buyers. So if you’re having trouble coming up with all you need, have a look at federal programs such as those offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
7. Don’t forget closing costs.
Closing costs can sneak up on you and add up quickly! Be sure to discuss these with your agent; closing costs usually range between 2-5% of your loan.
8. Don’t ask for too many opinions.
After all, you’re the one who will be living there! Home buying is a very personal decision, so don’t let too many external preferences color your views.
9. Figure out your moving timeline.
Rental costs, lease durations, escrow periods and more all come into play during the home purchase process. Consider these various factors as you plan your purchase.
10. Get a home inspection.
Hiring a competent home inspector will prevent you from being stuck with unknown major (and expensive) fixes after you move in.
Do you have home search tips to share? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!