Finding your dream home can feel stressful, but there’s plenty of great real estate for sale to suit nearly every buyer. Breaking down the process of buying a new home into steps isn’t only helpful, but it will help it feel manageable. Below are 10 great tips to help you go from dreaming of owning a new home to actually holding the keys.
Make a wish list and prioritize your needs
Now is the time to think about what your perfect home looks like. Unless you have a bottomless bank account, you probably won’t be able to get everything you want. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of having a fireplace, but when it comes down to it, what you really need is a home located near good schools.Taking time to make a wish list will help you prioritize needs over wants.
Set a realistic budget
Perhaps the most stressful part of buying a home is setting a budget, yet this doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Figure out how much house you can afford by examining your current salary and debts. A mortgage payment should never be more than a third of your income, while your debt should be less than 40 percent of your income.
Hire a great real estate agent
Unless you’re an orthodontist, you probably wouldn’t attempt to fit someone with a pair of braces, right? The same theory holds true for buying real estate. Great REALTORS® will demystify the process of finding your dream home, from working within your budget to putting in a bid. In addition, it’s their job to know the market and they can help you find your perfect home, even when there’s competition from other buyers in your area.
Make a checklist
You’ve prioritized your wish list, set a realistic budget, and hired a real estate agent. Time to sit back and relax, right? Wrong! Now’s the time to make a checklist of all the things you need to consider when finding your dream house. Your list should include the priorities from your wish list. For example, how close is the house to schools and grocery stores? Does the home have a fireplace? How much does the current owner pay annually in taxes? Preparing a list of questions before you purchase your new home will make sure you don’t have questions later.
Location, location, location!
Although it might seem obvious to carefully choose where you buy a home, you’d be surprised how many people cut corners. Is it a priority for you to find real estate close to schools? Or perhaps it’s a priority to be located off a busy street to avoid noise pollution. In short, a dream home isn’t ideal at all if it’s not located in the perfect place.
Think about how you use space
A parlor is lovely, but if it’s only used a couple times a year during holidays, perhaps you’d get more bang for your buck by focusing on a home with well-used rooms. For example, if you spend a lot of time cooking, then it makes sense to buy a house with a large, well-equipped kitchen. Likewise, if you’re a freelancer, then it might behoove you look into a home that has an extra bedroom that could be converted into an office.
Would you like to renovate?
Do you take pleasure in making home repairs or would you prefer to move into a home that requires very little work to move in? Renovating a home can be a tremendous amount of fun, but it can also get expensive. Be realistic about what repairs will cost and whether you have the time and energy to get the work accomplished.
Make an offer
Making an offer on your dream house is one of the most exciting days of your life. It’s also one of the most nerve-wracking. Although the current owners could say “yes,” there is a possibility that they might decline your offer. To make your offer attractive, avoid pushing out the current owners too quickly by asking for a fast closing date. Also, don’t lowball them by offering far less than the listing price. Your real estate agent should be able to give you advice about what will make an attractive offer.
Don’t neglect the home inspection
Once your reoffer has been accepted, it’s time for a home inspection before you finalize the contract. This is the time to look deep and have a professional home inspector look at the foundation, roof, electrical wiring, heating systems, insulation and other items that are generally hidden from view. While it might be tempting to seal the deal as quickly as possible, having a home inspection can save you from expensive problems down the line.
The entire process, from browsing the real estate for sale in your area to moving into your dream home can be daunting. Once you have the keys to your new home in hand, make sure to celebrate with your loved ones for a job well done!
You’ll be moving in the right direction with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.