So, you know you’re ready to buy the home you’ve always dreamed of, but you’re not sure where to start?
Do you want a sunny entertainment area with a fireplace in your home? How about a spacious kitchen with all bells and whistles? Or maybe you’re looking forward to getting your hands dirty in a large, established garden?
These are just some of the must-haves that seal the deal for some people looking for a new home. That said, it can be challenging to find something that meets all your requirements.
Here are five expert pieces of advice on how to find (and buy!) your dream home.
1. Find a Great Realtor
In the digital age, you can look at the best website to search for homes online – but having a professional by your side will help you navigate the home-buying process and answer any questions you may have.
From searching for a new home to final closing, the process of buying a home has become more complicated in recent years – especially for first-time buyers.
Now, buying a house with cash is rare: most people have to work through mortgage paperwork as the first step. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to go because they will be able to point you in the right direction and help you resolve any issues that may come up.
2. Set a Budget
When you start your journey to buying a home, take a look at your financial situation and determine an appropriate price point that you can afford. Once you’ve determined how much you can afford to repay monthly on a mortgage, find a lender, get pre-approval, and set your budget.
Suppose you jump straight into house shopping before having an idea of what you can afford to repay on your mortgage. In that case, you might end up comparing every other house you look at to the expensive one that’s out of your price range – which will set you up for frustration and disappointment.
3. Write a List of Your Preferences
Once you have set a realistic budget and know what you can afford, make a list of your priorities. In this list, write down all the non-negotiable aspects you want in your new home in order of importance. Don’t forget to include your “nice-to-have” features, as well as the ones you’re willing to sacrifice.
For instance, some buyers want a house in a specific neighborhood, while others find the size or other features more important. Writing down what you’re looking for will help you find the home that best suits your particular needs.
4. Research Your Ideal Area
When you’re looking for your new home, finding one that is located in a desirable neighborhood or town is something to consider seriously – after all, you can renovate or change your house later on, but you can’t move it to a different area.
Affordability is also a factor – the cost of living can vary dramatically from state to state or even from city to city. Research the area before you decide to buy a house there to ensure you’re not moving into a city you can’t afford to live in.
5. Be Open to Possibilities
You should be aware that your dream house may not have everything you’re looking for when you buy it – that’s why it’s essential to remain open to every house’s possibilities.
When viewing a house, try to be creative with your visions for the space – you can often work in an alternative to create your preferred living arrangements.
For instance, a basement can be converted into a crafts room or entertainment area, and you can create a mudroom simply by hanging shoe storage shelves in your entranceway. Being open to the possibilities within a home can help you make it your own.