Finding a home is a lot like finding the your true love. Love makes your heart skip a beat. Your feet immediately start to spin around the empty living room and imagine yourself entertaining grandly as you waltz through the dining room. And by the time you get to the master bedroom, well….it's love.
But if you've ever been in a bad relationship, you know it can start with that head over heels feeling. You remember that feeling. It's the one that makes you do stupid things that you regret later, like blithely overlooking flaws you wouldn't have put up with if you were in your right mind.
When you go shopping for homes, remember that you're vulnerable. Cupid may strike with his bow when you least expect it, causing you to fall in love - with the wrong house.
Oh, that won't happen to me, you say. But it can. You're a fool for love. If you want to keep your head and get the home that's really right for you and your household, follow these tips:
Shop Within Your Means
The wrong house will be too much trouble and money. Your lender will give you a price limit that you can comfortably afford based on your income and current debts. These are time-tested formulas that are designed to protect you from getting overextended and putting the bank's investment in jeopardy.
Work with a real estate professional
Look online and you'll fall in love with a home out of your league. You're welcome to look at homes online, but try to stay in your price range. If you look at homes that are more expensive than you can afford, you're bound to fall in love with more luxuries and space than you can comfortably afford. Share your wish list with a real estate professional, and let him or her preview homes for you.
Shop for the right-sized home, not the biggest
The wrong home is too big. While conventional wisdom says buy the most home that you can for the money, buying the biggest home you can isn't smart. Think about the operating costs of heating, cooling, cleaning and maintaining more square footage than you really need. Instead, think about how you actually use a home. Have a use for every space.
Shop For Your Lifestyle
The wrong home is perfect - for someone else. If you're single or travel a lot, you don't want to mow 10 acres. Consider a condominium or gated community. If you have kids, you may be more interested in neighborhoods with lots of options for kids to learn and do.
Consider the commute
The wrong home dazzles you with its elegance, but there's a price. Many of the newest homes offer the most amenities, but they're on cheaper land far from city centers. Ask yourself how long you'll spend commuting to your job every day to live in that particular community?
Don't Be Fooled By a Pretty Face
The wrong home isn't just pretty, it has to meet your needs. Where do the kids put their backpacks when they come home from school? Is it easy to let the dog outside and clean muddy paws when he comes back in? Do you have the space you need for your home office or art studio? Are there enough bathrooms for the morning rush?
Don't Overlook A Wallflower
Many homes are affordable because they're older and need work. Many times, cosmetic updates can turn a so-so home into a treasure. No home is perfect, so don't be side-tracked by ugly wallpaper.
Fall in love with the right house
The right house may not be the prettiest, biggest or the newest, but it will be the one that most suits the various needs of your household. When you're comparing homes think about your wish list and which home comes closest to meeting your price, number of bedrooms, condition, space, features and the amenities of the neighborhood.
Once you move in, you'll see that there's no falling in love that feels as good as knowing you made the right choice.
Source: Blanche Evans/RealtyTimes.com