This is a question that is often asked by my clients when they first want to move to the area. As the local expert, it is my job to have this information on hand. But before we go into depth..there are a few things to consider...
First, consider the comfort zone for your mortgage payment. I can pre-screen you before you fill out a lengthy mortgage loan application. The pre-screening consists of about 10 quick questions. This will help head off any surprises during your mortgage application and underwriting and help this part of the home buying process go smoother. Next, we will get you in contact with a reputable mortgage broker or banker who can communicate well with you and myself to get you through to closing. It is a good idea to do business with a mortgage company who has a local physical presence. Once the comfort zone for you mortgage has been established then the search can truly begin.
Next, you must think about your lifestyle. This is the time to consider your needs, not wants. It is important to have public transportation? or do you like a nice country drive? Do you desire an urban setting, suburban or country feel? Do you need a big yardor home or will a quaint home with a low maintenance yard be a better choice? Are schools and programs a consideration? There are many more decisions to make, but these can get me started in the right direction in finding the right place for you.
Once the general feel for your needs is complete, then we get in to the "want" stage. What neighborhoods and areas fit your lifestyle? You will want an area that feels good to you. And only you know what that exact feeling will feel like. This is the emotional part of home buying. I can tell when my clients have "fallen" for a home. It is written all over their faces. Where do you want to live that meets your needs and fits into your budget? I suggest driving through areas during different times to get a general feel.
What do I do once I have that "feeling" while in a home, have had a loan approval and have considered my lifestyle? If I am not already out in the field with you looking, then call me and we can write a winning offer on that home. We may some negotiating to do with the sellers, but I am a tough cookie for my clients.