The New Year is under-way and you’re itching with excitement because this is the year that you finally get to find your dream home. Where should you start? You’ve been browsing Trulia and Zillow, you’ve put together a list of potential properties you’d be interested in, and you have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to your dream home. You know how many bedrooms you want, you know you want granite countertops, and you know that you want a backyard big enough for your four-legged friend to have all of the room in the world to wander around.
Now what? Read on to learn all of the necessary steps you should take in finding your future home!
The biggest first step you should make (before you even begin putting together a list of your favorite homes) is getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This will give you a better idea of how much you can afford and how much a lender would be willing to lend based on your income and debts.
If you’ve been running around looking at homes that aren’t in your price realm, you’ll have wasted a lot of time and energy you won’t be able to get back. So do your research, take the time to talk to a lender, and move one step forward to finding your dream home.
Ensure all communication with the seller goes through your Real Estate Agent.
Many people make the mistake of talking with the seller’s agent about a house they’re interested in, rather than securing a buyer’s agent for themselves to walk them through the process. But remember, a seller’s agent has the seller’s best interest at heart - not yours.
Make sure you have someone on your side with the expertise, search power, and negotiation skills to help in making sure all of your goals are met. Your agent will help in working effectively with your lender, identifying homes that meet your criteria, scheduling showings, assisting in interpreting inspection results, negotiating offers, and most importantly - handing you your new set of house keys!
Love the location as much as you do the house.
Often times when people are searching for homes on the Internet, they’re browsing through endless pictures of the interior of the house instead of focusing on the larger picture. You want to make sure you’re just as in love with the location of your potential home as you are with the property, and may want to take the following into consideration:
How far will I have to commute to work? Is that doable? What are the crime rates like in the area? Will I feel safe there? How are the school systems? Is the home close to downtown, or is it in a more secluded area? Which would I prefer?
House hunting can be a tiring process at times, which is why you’ve got an agent by your side to help in making the process as seamless and stress-free as possible. The biggest role of your agent is assisting in finding you options that meet your specifications as closely as possible. They will provide you with feedback on the location, community, school systems and more to make sure you love the area as much as the home.
Think of the long-term.
We’ve all seen the slew of inspirational quotes and grandparents telling you to “live in the moment”. And while that’s certainly a good motto to live by, you might want to consider thinking more into the future when it comes to purchasing your first home.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking for a home:
Are you planning on starting a family in the near future? Do you want to stay in this area for the long-term? Will the neighborhood remain the same in the future? Is the location you’ve selected going to (or already) a hotspot for tourists?
If you’re looking to purchase a home that you would like to spend the next 10, 20, or 30 years in, it’s important to find out everything you can about the area and be sure it’s somewhere that you will be happy with in the future.
Ask a lot of questions.
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you can make in a lifetime, so it’s important to make sure any and all questions you have are answered before you dive in. When you have a dedicated agent by your side, they can help make the process as transparent for you as possible. There is no such thing as a bad question, and you want to be 100% comfortable and confident with everything that’s happening throughout the home-buying process. Ask away; it’s what your agent is there for!
Red Post Realty Can Help!
If you’re considering purchasing a home, be sure to contact a Red Post Realty agent today so they can give you a run-down of the home-buying process and help you get the ball rolling. We can’t wait to help you find your future home!