Buying a home can be both exciting and overwhelming. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical homebuyer searches for more than 10 weeks before finding the right house.
What should you consider and how can you be efficient in your search? Keep reading for our top five recommendations.
Flexibility is Key
Before starting the search, it’s best to create a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you like to have? New or used? Square footage? Lot size? Location? What layout would be ideal?
First, the home must be within budget. Second, even if your budget can accommodate your wish list, it may be difficult to find a home that has everything you want. Focus on key factors. If a house feels right, it may be the one for you.
Start Your Search Online
Driving around aimlessly across numerous neighborhoods likely isn’t the best use of your time. Begin your search online to get a sense of how location, the age of the home, size, and different features affect costs.
However, don’t be quick to discard options in this initial stage. If there’s something you don’t like in a home, make note of it. Use these criteria when examining other options.
You’ve set your sights on the home of your dreams. There’s only one problem; it’s an hour away from the office. While you may be excited about the home, it’s important to be realistic about how living there will impact other areas of your life.
It’s also wise to try and estimate how your budget will be impacted. How does a long commute, for example, affect future gas, tolls, and vehicle maintenance costs?
Think About Your Future
Buying a house requires both an investment and commitment. It’s probably safe to say you want to own the home for a while. Before house hunting, envision what life will be like in a few years and try to plan ahead.
Want to have kids? Aim to find a place you can grow into in a school district you like. Adopting a dog? A house with a small yard might not be ideal. You may even want to avoid having carpet in certain areas. Considerations like these will ultimately contribute to your decision.
Work with a Real Estate Agent
Don’t know where to get started or can’t narrow down your search? Enlist the help of a real estate agent. It’s standard practice for the seller to pay real estate agent commission fees, so buyers can solicit their service without worrying about costs.
An active and licensed agent can help you find listings, negotiate on your behalf, refer services as needed, submit offers, and walk you through the entire process. Don’t be afraid to pick their brain and ask questions if something is unclear.
Considering using our HomeAdvantage program to connect to a licensed real estate agent and receive a rebate at closing.
Looking to purchase a home? Not sure where to start? View this First-Time Hombuyer Webinar to learn more.
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