Home Buyers Checklist
Whether you’ve been renting, leasing, or living out of your parents garage you may one day find yourself thinking, “Is it possible for me to buy a home of my own?” The younger generation in this era aren’t buying homes until their late thirties. Some aren’t ever planning on buying! Depending on the area you choose to live, renting may be a better option. This is because you can avoid a lot of problems a home owner has to deal with. Bad neighbors, industry collapse, mortgage issues, and problems with the home itself are big weights on a person.
But if you choose to buy a home you will undoubtedly need a checklist to help you choose the right one. How to find the right home has never been easier in this digital age. Let’s take a look and see what you can do today to save your self a headache tomorrow!
Let’s Get Started!
1. First off, know your budget. If you’re serious about buying a home there’s no sense in looking at ones outside your price range. Sure, it’s fun to take a look at luxury homes but we also have to be practical when we’re getting down to brass tax. You don’t necessarily have to contact a bank just yet, though. A typical mortgage will be 30 years. Figure out how much you can spend on your future mortgage each month and how much you’re able to put as a down payment now. Calculate that over 360 months and that’s the amount you’re likely to get approved for by a lender. Now you know your price range!
“Making a List Helps”
2. Decide what you absolutely cannot live without in a home. It’s best if you make a top ten list about what’s most important to you. Good schools, safe neighborhood, walk in closet… Maybe the place you live in right now has a septic system and gosh, you just want to be on a sewer system. Write it down! Your needs are going to change over time but you definitely want to know what you and are not willing to sacrifice in your purchase. Nothing is forever so think of this as a list of what you need for yourself over the next five years. In five years you can worry about making changes.
What difference does an area code make?
3. Figure out which city you want to live near. That’s right, I said near – not in. This is because the city you want to live in may be out of your price range but cities nearby can be much better priced and just as good. Perhaps they don’t have the same name appeal. But you can swing living ten minutes away in a different zip code for half the cost.
4. Start your search! That’s right – now it’s time to find the right home, in the flesh! Utilize these inter webs to look for available housing in your preferred area. Set your pricing filter in your mortgage range and click any boxes on your top ten that apply to your checklist. Select around ten different homes that you like the looks of. Of course make sure you like the specs you see too. Rule out any of those ten based on your checklist of must haves.
5. If you have someone in mind to be your real estate agent, give them a call and ask about seeing these particular properties. If your clueless on an agent, the USDRE can get you the best one in your area of search based on personality. You don’t want your agent to be too pushy or too lax.
What About a Walk Through?
6. Take a look at each property in person. When you pull up, note the surrounding neighborhood. Do you like it? When you walk through the front door… Did you get butterflies? If at any time your heart sinks, this may not be the right home for you. But compare it to the other homes you’ve seen. Remember, you’re not necessarily looking for the perfect home, you’re looking for the right home. If you don’t like the color of the living room walls well, that’s a simple and relatively affordable fix. If the backyard is ten feet deep and you really wanted some patio furniture and a fire pit out there… Well, that’s going to be a harder, if not impossible thing to change.
The main thing to think about when you’re choosing a home that’s the right fit is asking yourself, “Can I see myself living here, happily?” This is a huge, life changing purchase – it’s not a pair of shoes or a new product you want to try out. It’s where you’ll go to sleep at night and wake up to start your days. You want to do both with a smile on your face.
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