Decide What Features You Want in Your Home
Now that you know how much home you qualify for and how much you want to spend, it's time to start thinking about what you want in a home. I think it's important to do this prior to beginning your home search. There are several things that are important to consider:
Location - drive around in different neighborhoods and decide which areas you like and which you don't. It's much harder to find your perfect home if you are looking in too wide a geoprahic area.
Home Style - this is a critical decision. Are you looking for a condo, townhome, or a single family home. Within that decision, there are floor plan preferences, etc to consider. Also think about things like lot size and home maintenance.
Features - I always advice making a list of home features that you want. Put your wants and needs into three categories: Must haves, would likes, and definitely don't wants:
The must haves are the deal breakers. For example, when we were home shopping my husband absolutely wanted a basement and a garage and I wanted a master bedroom with 2 closets. We therefore, did not even look at homes that were lacking these features.
The would likes are those features that you would enjoy having but you would be willing to live without. In my own home search things like a fireplace and hardwood floors were on the list. We did eventually end up in a home that had neither of those features.
The definitely don't wants are as important as the must haves. These are the things that you absolutely do not want in a home you live in. In my case again, some of my do not wants included a home on a main road, a fixer-upper, or a one-story home (I like stairs).
Other things to consider before you start looking include pets, storage needs, accessibility to public transportation, schools, crime, time-frame for moving, etc.
The more you know about the home you want the easier it will be to find your perfect home.
Remember you must be realistic in your expectations for your home. If you are able to spend $150,000 in an area where single family homes cost $300,000 then you may have to compromise and purchase a condo or a town-home.
Flexibility and communication with your agent are the key to helping the home search process go smoothly.
If you are ready to start your home search process, give me a call today!