Start Your Home Search with these 3 Steps
Contemplating starting a home search but not quite sure where to start? While your first instinct will be to jump online and start shopping for houses, there are several more practical steps you can take to prepare for the home-buying process. Don’t get me wrong, shopping inventory is a very important and hopefully fun part of the process for you. It is important to understand different neighborhoods, styles of homes, and current price ranges to get familiar with your specific real estate market. However, there are several other factors that may impact your search and are important to understand at the beginning of your home search. Here are three things you can do to prepare yourself to buy your next home:
- Financial Assessment - Getting crystal clear on your finances will save you a lot of time you may have wasted looking for houses that don’t match your budget. If you’re getting a loan, meet with a financial advisor to plan out a budget that works for you. I recommend contacting at least three mortgage lenders to learn about different types of home loans and ensure you’re getting a good rate. You’ll want to get clear on your mortgage payments including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. Understanding this will allow you to shop for a mortgage with confidence and a home with clarity on your price range.
- List of Needs & Wants - Make a list of everything your house must have to fits your needs (I.e. number of bedrooms, bathrooms, a garage, accessibility…). Make a second list of all the features you’d like to have but are not totally necessary (walk-in closets, pool, marble countertops). Prepare yourself to NOT find every single item on both lists and start to visualize what will make you truly happy. As you start to shop for homes online and see listings in person, you will soon realize what is realistic based on the neighborhood and price range you are looking for.
- Finding Representation - Finding your next home is a significant event that comes with many nuanced processes. Utilizing an expert who is professionally trained and has experience will make the process less stressful, more efficient, and as smooth as possible. Your agent will not only help you find the right home but ensure all the next steps are taken correctly and competitively to spare you from costly mistakes you may have made otherwise. We will guide you the entire way from writing a competitive offer through the escrow process to ensure none of your time, energy, or money is wasted along the way.
Whether it’s your first or fifth time buying a home, it’s important to come into the process prepared. Need more assistance with your search? Feel free to reach out to me directly to help you navigate your next home purchase.
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