House hunting is an exciting process but can also be overwhelming if you don’t take the time to identify exactly what you want and need in the place that you want to call “Home Sweet Home”. Before you visit another open house, sit down and ask yourself these questions…
What can we afford?
Take some time to figure out your budget. Being aware of the costs associated with purchasing a home will help you create a realistic budget. There are many tools available on-line. For example, a mortgage calculator would be very helpful. Once you have your price range figured out then you can begin your search. From financial approval to your favorite neighborhood, there are hundreds of decisions to make when choosing your home. Let’s get started…
Which style home suits us best?
Do you prefer a quaint Victorian house with a white picket fence or the ranch style home that perfectly showcases your mid-century decor? Do you envision your family living in the country with room for your elderly father to move into your guest room or guest home? Do you need a two-story family home with a three-car garage and multiple bedrooms to accommodate the different schedules and lifestyles of all your family members? Are you ready to downsize and simplify your life by living in a townhome or condo with less square footage? If possible, choose a home that reflects your needs and personality.
Location, Location, Location
Decide whether you want a suburban, urban, or rural home. What city do you want to live in? Are there suitable schools nearby? Many couples with young children now choose their home according to which school district it’s located in to ensure a good education for their kids. If you are raising children, do you want to live on a cul-de-sac where traffic will be minimized? How does living within walking distance to your local bakery or coffee shop sound to you? If entertainment is a priority, then living in a community that offers a variety of shows at the local Performing Arts Center would be ideal. Do you want easy access to highways? Your lifestyle and how your prospective home fits into it, should be the main consideration in your decision to buy a home. Take the time to make a list of questions that are important to you and your family.
Consider Resale Value
While compiling your wish list, you should always include the potential resale value of your new home. Buying the only ranch home in a neighborhood of two-story houses, or the only one-bedroom condo in a building full of three-bedroom units, might hamper your chances to sell your home one day. Also, find out if any major construction or infrastructure projects are planned in your area. No one wants to buy a house facing a brand new warehouse.
How Should We Celebrate?
Wow, so much to deal with, right? So once you get that offer accepted, make sure you do something special to mark the occasion—you deserve it! Just picture yourself in your new place with all the decision making behind you… and make a toast to a new beginning.