Are you on the hunt for your first home? Keep reading for a few tips that will help you find your dream house.
The first home you buy will be a house you remember forever. Why not start off with a bang and make it your dream house?
Granted, most people’s first homes aren’t mansions or castles. However, there’s no reason you shouldn’t push for the best of the best within your price range.
Additionally, one person’s dream home can be quite different from another’s.
Regardless if you dream of a lovely suburban house where you can raise a family or an amazing condo that’s right in the heart of the city, there are a few tips you should consider to help make the process of buying your first home a little smoother.
Keep reading for all the details.
1. Get Pre-Approved
Before you ever start shopping online for houses, you should get preapproved for a home loan. This process doesn’t lock you in or even obligate you to use that lender.
However, it does give you a good estimate of how much money you’re working with.
All too often, people start searching for their dream house within their preconceived price range, assuming they’re good to go. They find a house and put in an offer, only to find out they can’t get approved for the money. Sometimes it’s an issue with their credit score, sometimes it’s because their income is too low.
Avoid any headaches or disappointing moments by getting pre-approved beforehand.
2. Consider All the Costs
Just because you’re approved for a $350,000 home, it doesn’t mean you can actually afford it comfortably. Nearly 80 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck already, do you really want to max out your budget on mortgage payments?
Then, you also need to take into account all of the other costs that come with homeownership. For example, when you buy a home, there are closing costs and realtor fees that range in the thousands of dollars. There are also things like:
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Property taxes
- Utilities (water, gas, electrical, waste removal)
- Services (internet, cable, phone lines)
- Yearly home maintenance and home improvement projects
3. Pick the Right Location
The right location can make all the difference in the world when it comes to happiness and comfort. For example, a dream house that demands a 45-minute commute to work and back every day will get old very quickly. On the other hand, a comfortable home surrounded by the noise of the city may also grow old.
Make sure you pick the home that best suits your lifestyle. Many families with children choose their location based on schools, parks, and the relative safety of the neighborhood.
4. Decide Between Old and New
Picking the right home in the right location may come down to a battle between old and new. Depending on quality and maintenance, newer homes are often more expensive than older homes. They have newer plumbing, electrical, and are generally more energy-efficient.
While old homes can certainly be updated to math their new-home counterparts, it is costly. However, old homes often offer charms and features lost in new homes. It comes down to your particular style and what your budget dictates.
5. Think About Your Future
Finding your dream house may require imagining your future. If you’ve recently been married and are considering expanding your family, it wouldn’t make sense to buy a small condo with your new wife. Depending on how big you think your family will be, you may need to invest early in a larger home, rather than needing to move again a few years down the road.
Once again, if children are in your present or future, your dream house may also be based on the best location to raise them.
6. Trust Your Gut
While many people disagree about where the feeling comes from, most can at least admit to a sense of intuition. This intuition often compels us to make a decision for reasons we don’t always recognize.
If you walk into a house that should be perfect but your gut is telling you no – there’s probably a reason. Alternatively, if you enter a home and it seems to envelop you with happiness and warmth, you may want to put an offer on it (assuming it’s compatible with your requirements).
7. Know When and What to Compromise
As a first-time home buyer, there’s a lesson you’ll learn in the process of compromising. While the ideal dream house would check off everything on your list, it’s unlikely you’ll ever find a home that’s absolutely perfect in every way.
Make a list of priorities from most important to least important. Determine what you’re willing to budge on and what are absolute requirements. Do this before walking through potential homes, as it can be hard to resist the charm of beautiful homes while house hunting.
8.Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent
Don’t try to buy your first home by yourself. Real estate agents can be invaluable when it comes to helping people find their dream house. They are also quite knowledgable about neighborhoods, schools, fair house prices, and red flags to be aware of.
Yes, they will require a fee, but their services are well worth the price. especially when it comes time to negotiate with the seller. For example, check out the services offered at The Century, a high-end real estate agency.
9. Be Patient
Finally, when looking for your dream house, take your time. You may not find it the first week or month of looking at homes.
You can make nearly any house a home. However, if you’ve got your heart invested in a house with certain parameters, don’t get impatient and settle for something that falls short. Be patient and trust that the right house will come along when it’s ready.
Still Looking for Your Dream House?
If you’re still looking for the perfect home or looking for ways to turn your current home into your dream house, be sure to check out the rest of our articles before you leave. We have everything from DIY home improvement to holiday decorating tips. Good luck!