Buying a home is likely the biggest decision you’ll make in your life. It’s a decision that you will likely be living with for years. Everyone dreams of finding the perfect home. What is the perfect home, and how can you find it?
Defining the “Perfect Home”
The perfect home, as it were, is a home that fits your needs the best. You define what you want or need in a home. To that end, you should make a list of what’s important to you in a home. Separate what you want and what isn’t important. If you have a partner buying with you, compare your lists and compare them to see what you can compromise on and what you can’t.
Also think about the homes you lived in before and what you did and didn’t like. Keep those things in mind when searching for a home.
How Much Can You Afford?
Getting in over your head with payments can really ruin the experience of a new home. Determining how much you can afford really the first thing you should do. Don’t make the mistake of basing it on the maximum amount you can borrow. You should set a budget so that you can comfortably handle the monthly payments. And if this is your first home, you need to keep in mind other expenses such as taxes, repairs, appliances, furniture, and so forth. Try to save money aside for unexpected expenses. It would be a shame to find a beautiful home and then have to struggle financially to live there.
Get the Right Help
Finding the right agent makes all the difference. And don’t be tempted to go it alone either. Working with a real estate professional can make the difference between a smooth experience and complete disaster. Real estate agents can find properties you may not be able to. They can also negotiate the best price and recommend the best lenders.
Location, Location, Location
Location makes all the difference when buying a home. Bad neighbors can ruin even the most desirable home. Test out the community and compare it to what you like or don’t like about your current neighborhood. Drive around the area at different times of the day and ask yourself how safe you would feel living there. Also test your commute during rush hour to the neighborhood.
Do Your Homework
This takes some time and money, but is well worth it. Compare property values around the home and look at trends. What are homes selling for in the area? This information can help you negotiate a better price. Also make sure to hire your own home inspector to find potential issues. Finding these up front can help you as well in negotiations with the seller.
Finding the perfect home is not impossible if you follow these basic steps.