For most people, looking for a new home is an emotional process. While you are tempted to lead with your heart, it is best to take a deep breath and use your head instead. Don’t lose sight that this is one of, if not the biggest financial commitment you will make in your lifetime. Starting the house hunt organized and prepared will help to keep the fun and excitement throughout your experience. Here are some tips that can be useful in the search for your new home.
- What can I afford? It is imperative to get a clear idea of your price range. Your monthly investment is going to be around for a while. Before you speak with a mortgage lender, sit down and review your budget to find out what you are comfortable investing in a home. Always remember to stay within your comfort level, even if a lender tells you, you can afford more. Be sure to have a monetary cushion when determining what you want to invest monthly…Life can throw you a curveball or two and you don’t want to feel the pressure in your home payment.
- Prioritize: Make a list of your needs, wants, and do not wants in a home. Keep this list with you every time you step foot in a house or model home sales office. When you are surrounded by ‘bells and whistles’, your list will help you stay focused on what is most important to you. Remember that nothing is perfect, and be realistic about changes you are willing to, and can afford to make…It is much easier to change paint and carpeting than it is to add a bathroom or re-model a kitchen.
- Attention to detail: If you are looking at resale homes, inspect everything. Lift the rugs to see the hardwood underneath. Test the faucets, toilets, and appliances. Open and close windows and cabinets. Always keep in mind that just because something looks good, doesn’t mean it is functioning properly. Get perspective from every vantage point; look high and low; stand at different places in every room to envision your things in the home. If you are looking into new construction, try to find a model home or home under construction that is similar to the floor plan you are interested in so you can get a feel for what you are looking at on paper. Stay involved throughout the building process to ensure that what you signed for on your agreement is what is being delivered.
Preparation will help keep the house hunting process as stress free as possible. So take a deep breath and plan. When you have a clear cut idea of what you need, it will translate into what you want!