Finding the Best House For Your Family’s Needs

Launching a search for your next home can be a daunting prospect — especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. It’s not only a life-changing decision that will have “ripple effects” for years to come, but it’s also one of the largest financial commitments you’ll every make. So there is a little “pressure” associated with this choice!

The good news is that once you’re approved for a mortgage and you know what you want (and can afford) in your next home, then the actual searching part should be a “piece of cake!” Well, as you can imagine, things can and sometimes DO go wrong along the way, but there are effective strategies for simplifying the process and increasing the probability that you’ll be delighted with the house you finally close on.

Identify Your Priorities

Knowing what your priorities are and being familiar with all the different features you’ll need to evaluate are the first steps to a successful house-hunting campaign. Your real estate agent can be enormously helpful in asking you the right questions, pinpointing your preferences, and guiding you toward the house that will offer the best combination of features, qualities, and characteristics.

Rarely will you find the property that is absolutely perfect in every imaginable way, but when you’re clear about the important things you’re not willing to compromise on, your final choice is bound to be one that fulfills your requirements and makes you happy! Also keep in mind that once you’re the owner, you can customize, decorate, and landscape that home to become whatever you want it to be. Perhaps the only two things that are set in stone are the location and the proximity of the house to neighbors.

I don’t know whether this saying has been attributed to any particular person, but it contains a lot of truth about achieving goals, attaining happiness, and finding the home of your dreams: “If you don’t know exactly what you want, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to find it!” That holds true whether you’re looking for the ideal job, home, or life partner.

So the question is “How can you zero in on what you need, want, and would find the most satisfying in a house?” Your real estate agent can help you create a priority list or provide you with a boilerplate list that you can work from. If you haven’t chosen an agent yet, there is a free home-buying checklist available from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

There are literally dozens of items you’ll factor into your home-buying decision, including the square footage, the quality of the neighborhood, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, the condition of the roof, electrical, and mechanical systems, the size of the backyard, proximity to neighbors, and whether it’s conveniently located near supermarkets, medical offices, parks, recreation, good schools, transportation, highways, entertainment, shopping, and much more. The bottom line is this: When you’re organized, focused, and clear about what you’re looking for in a new home, you’re well positioned for a successful outcome!

What To Look For When Buying A Home To Build Equity

Buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your entire life. It’s not a decision that anyone should or will take lightly. You want to buy a house that you can live in. Sometimes, it’s even best to think of your home purchase from the perspective of others. Ask yourself, “Would other people want to live here?”

When it comes to your home, the financial buzzword is “equity.” As the buyer, you want to be able to build some equity into your home so that if you should choose to sell it, you’ll make a profit.

Whether your home is only meant to live in for a few years until your family outgrows it, or you think it’s going to be a forever home, life happens and you don’t want to be stuck with a home that you must take a loss on. Keep these aspects of the home in mind when you are ready to buy:

Size

Most people search for 3 to 4 bedroom homes. Whether they are married and want to have children or just need extra space for another baby that is on the way, families typically look for places where they have room to grow. The number of bathrooms in a home is also key. Families don’t want to share one bathroom among 4-5 people. These factors are even more important than the actual space available in the home by square footage.

On the flip side, you don’t want your home to be too big either. Larger homes aren’t as energy efficient and can cost more to maintain. Know that there is a “sweet spot” for your square footage. Usually this is somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet of living space.

Room To Expand

Look at the home to see if there is room to expand. Perhaps you need another bathroom, but there’s some space to construct an additional half bath. This factor of expansion is key when it comes to a home or property.

Look Past The Appearance

Things like paint colors, floors, carpets and other aesthetics aren’t as important as the big things when it comes to buying a home. You can easily change these without much cost or effort on your part. While everyone loves a move-in-ready home, don’t let a little paint separate you from a home that you love!

Curb Appeal Helps

While it’s easy to fix some things like the color of a home or the shrubs, find your vision to give the home you’re about to purchase some curb appeal. If you can see past the imperfections and make your home your own from the outside in, your home will be attractive. There’s plenty of things you can add and fix from doors to landscaping to paint to a new mailbox. All of these can give your home some serious curb appeal.

Sound Structure

If the structure of the home is not in good condition, you’ll face many problems down the road. You want to avoid costly repairs by ensuring that you buy a home without serious structural damage or wear. The most important part of a home’s structure is that of the foundation. If a home has a cracked foundation, it’s going to cause some problems. Be sure that you hire a reputable inspector and attend the inspection so you know exactly what’s going on with the home you are about to purchase. You can prepare yourself for any problems or issues this way, and make a decision from there. A home that has a good structure to start will undoubtedly continue to help you build equity in your purchase.

Homebuying Tips: Look Beyond the Price of a Home

Buying a home represents a life-changing decision. As such, you’ll want to look beyond the price of a residence as you search for your dream house.

Ultimately, there are many factors beyond price that you should consider as you pursue your ideal residence, including:

1. A Home’s Location

For most homebuyers, a house’s location is the number one factor when they explore the real estate market, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

Finding a home in a location that is convenient for you is priceless. And if you know how to conduct a comprehensive home search, you can quickly discover a high-quality home in a wonderful location.

As you prepare to kick off your home search, consider whether you’d like to live in a city or town. This will enable you to narrow your home search.

You also may want to consider homes that are located near work or school. By doing so, you can ensure that you won’t have to travel too far to get to destinations that you frequently visit.

2. A Home’s Condition

A home may look like a great investment at first, but its condition may have deteriorated over time. Thus, you’ll want to take a close look at a house’s condition before you finalize a home purchase.

Typically, a homebuyer will complete a property inspection after a home seller accepts an offer on a residence. This inspection will enable a homebuyer to perform an in-depth assessment of a residence and learn about its strengths and weaknesses. Then, a homebuyer can determine whether to move forward with a home acquisition.

If a property inspector discovers myriad issues that impact a home’s condition, a homebuyer may want to reconsider his or her offer. At this point, a homebuyer can still walk away from a home purchase. Or, a homebuyer can ask the home seller to complete various home improvements as well.

On the other hand, a homebuyer who falls in love with a house may choose to proceed with a home purchase, regardless of the residence’s condition. If you choose this option, however, it is important to consider the potential long-term ramifications of your decision.

3. Your Future

It is paramount for a homebuyer to find a house that he or she can enjoy for years to come. Therefore, a homebuyer should consider his or her future before finalizing a home purchase.

For example, if you plan to settle down and start a family, you may want to evaluate houses that are close to schools. Conversely, if you eventually want to work in the big city, you may want to consider homes that will make it easy to commute into the city day after day.

Don’t forget to hire a real estate agent to help you during the homebuying journey too. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble examining a broad range of top-notch houses that won’t force you to break your budget.

What Factors Should Millennials Consider When They Buy a Home?

Are you a Millennial who is interested in buying a home? If so, now may be an excellent time to purchase a house.

Millennials who understand the ins and outs of buying a house will be better equipped to make a great home purchase.

So what should a Millennial look for in a new house? Here are three factors that every Millennial should consider when they evaluate a house:

1. Location

Location is everything in the real estate market, and Millennials who consider a house’s location relative to their personal needs are sure to find a wonderful house.

For instance, if you don’t own a car, you may want to consider purchasing a house that is located near public transportation. Conversely, if you want your home to be a haven from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day office work, you may want to consider buying a house outside the busy city.

Examine the location of a prospective residence during the home evaluation process. By doing so, you’ll improve your chances of finding a home that fulfills your personal needs both now and in the future.

2. Price

A home is a long-term investment, and as such, you’ll need to consider the house’s price before you begin your search for the perfect residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage generally is a good idea before you start looking at homes. Pre-approval means you’ll be able to establish a homebuying budget and determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a house.

Also, you should examine your personal finances closely prior to your home search. This may allow you to find ways to save extra money for a down payment on a house and explore other cost-cutting measures to ensure you have enough money to afford a new residence.

3. Debt

Unfortunately, debt plagues many Millennials and can destroy your chances of purchasing a house quickly and easily. As a result, you’ll want to examine your debt and find ways to reduce it before you buy a house.

To minimize debt, you’ll first need to know your credit score. Fortunately, you’re eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) at least once a year.

Get a copy of your credit report so you know your credit score. Then, you can review the sources of your debt and work toward paying off outstanding credit card bills and other debt that may hinder your ability to purchase your ideal residence.

Of course, buying a house can be a stressful endeavor for Millennials. And if you need extra help along the way, it is essential to remember that you can employ a friendly, experienced real estate agent.

A real estate agent enables you to take the guesswork out of the homebuying process, and ultimately, may make it simple for you to find a house that fits your personal needs and budget. With the right real estate agent at your side, you’ll be able to streamline the process of buying a house and discover a residence that suits you perfectly.