After you have been pre-approved for a mortgage loan, and have sufficient cash to make a down payment on a house, then you are ready to find a house that meets your family needs and desires. At this point in time, you need to be realistic about your needs and have patience during your house search. You need to determine the neighborhoods that are suitable for your family needs, and know the maximum price you can afford to pay. The maximum price you can afford to pay may be less than the maximum amount approved by your lender. When determining the maximum amount you can afford to pay, be sure to factor in college expenses, vacations, entertainment and maintenance expenses, etc. Then determine your needs and wants. Your needs are the amenities you need for your family and wants are nice to have amenities. Develop a checklist for both interior and exterior features and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. Use this checklist for each house you tour. While touring houses the following list are a few other suggestions:
· Take photos of each house you tour. This helps you remember the details about each house.
· Do not make any hasty decisions. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each house. If you miss out on 1 house there will always be another house that you fall in love with.
· Compare your needs versus your wants and budget using your checklist.
· Bring your spouse, friend and/or parent for a second opinion. They may notice something that you have overlooked.
· Asked your realtor to get utility history for the house.
· Keep reviewing the multiple listing for additional new houses.
· Stay in close contact with your real estate agent, and have him keep you informed of available properties.
· Look at the potential of the house versus what you see. It is more important the house has the rooms, layout, and space you need versus the color of the walls and minor repairs.
Remember, when making an offer make sure the contract is contingent on a professional inspection. Finally, you may be involved in a multi-offer environment. This will cause greater emotions, but don’t let emotions control your final decision. Many times, you are better off by sticking with original plans.