Finding a house that works for you and your family is an exciting prospect, but it can sometimes be frustrating. If you’re planning to move in the coming months, and you’re eager to find your dream home, here are some useful tips to help you minimize stress and maximize your chances of success.
Organizing your finances and setting a budget
Before you begin your search for your dream home, you need to figure out how much you can afford. Taking a realistic approach to your financial situation is critical. Remember, just because you “qualify” for a certain mortgage amount doesn’t necessarily mean that you can actually afford the payment. Most mortgage loans require a pretty hefty down payment. Plan ahead by creating a down payment account and making deposits regularly to have that money.
Be honest with yourself about you budget when listing all of the payments you make each month; don’t leave off entertainment, clothing, or school expenses. Count it all so you don’t fall in the trap of biting off more than you can chew.
Use a real estate agent with experience and expertise
Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for, or you’re trying to figure it all out; it’s hugely beneficial to work with an experienced real estate agent. Find an agent who is familiar with the area in which you’d like to live. From high-end real estate to fixer-uppers and affordable, first-time homes, the right agent can make finding the right property for you much easier.
Be honest with your agent. If they are showing you properties that are not your style or miss the mark in other areas, let them know. Don’t waste your time and theirs by looking at homes that you’re not going to want to make an offer on.
Sort your priorities
Before you begin you agent books viewings for you, make a list of priorities. What are your must haves? If you must have four bedrooms, don’t waste your time looking at three bedroom houses. If you can only afford $200k, don’t look at houses that are beyond that price point. You’ll only be disappointed if you do. Areas where you might be willing to compromise could be the proximity to your job or shopping areas but hold fast to your must haves or you risk buyer’s remorse.
Check out listings on your own
Even though you’re using an agent, there’s no harm in looking at properties online. Use online listings to locate suitable properties and then have your agent book viewings. Just know that pictures can be deceiving. You’ll never know exactly how large rooms are or what true paint colors are until you experience them in person. Remember to look at each property with your style in mind. It’s kind of difficult, but you have to see past the current owner’s décor to feature how your furniture and accessories will look in the space.
Once you find the property you love, go back a few times to be sure. This is not time for a one and done. Re-visiting will serve as a reminder as to what the house really looks like. Take your own pictures. Of course, once you have a contract on a property, an inspection will be ordered any flaws that need repairs will be revealed; but that’s in the next step in the process. The first step is finding a house that works for you and your family.