House hunting is just like any other shopping expedition. If you identify exactly what you want and do some research, you’ll zoom in on the home you want at the best price. These eight tips will guide you through a smart homebuying process.
- Know yourself and what fits. Understand the type of home that suits your personality. Do you prefer a new or existing home? A ranch or a multi-story home? If you’re leaning toward a fixer-upper, are you truly handy, or will you need to budget for contractors?
- Get your finances in order. Generally, lenders say you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Create a budget so you know how much you’re comfortable spending each month on housing. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to investigate financing. Gather your financial records and meet with a lender to get a prequalification letter spelling out how much you’re eligible to borrow. The lender won’t necessarily consider the extra fees you’ll pay when you purchase or your plans to begin a family or purchase a new car, so shop in a price range you’re comfortable with. Also, presenting an offer contingent on financing will make your bid less attractive to sellers.
- Think long term. Your future plans may dictate the type of home you’ll buy. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in the home for five to 10 years? With a starter, you may need to adjust your expectations. If you plan to nest, be sure your priority list helps you identify a home you’ll still love years from now.
- Be realistic. It’s OK to be picky about the home and neighborhood you want, but don’t be close-minded, unrealistic, or blinded by minor imperfections. If you insist on living in a cul-de-sac, you may miss out on great homes on streets that are just as quiet and secluded. On the flip side, don’t be so swayed by a “wow” feature that you forget about other issues -- like noise levels -- that can have a big impact on your quality of life. Use your priority list to evaluate each property, remembering there’s no such thing as the perfect home.
- Limit the opinions you solicit. It’s natural to seek reassurance when making a big financial decision. But you know that saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. If you need a second opinion, select one or two people. But remain true to your list of wants and needs so the final decision is based on criteria you’ve identified as important.
I hope you found this information interesting and useful. Team Tork is always on the lookout for helpful Information for our clients, and for the community! If you are interested in purchasing or listing a home in the Twin Cities area, please call me, Joey Torkildson, and I will use my knowledge and experience to get you the best deal possible! You can call me directly at (651) 379-4138 or (651) 210-1038. If you prefer, you can send an email to Joey@TeamTorkRealEstate.com. Our website has more educational information. Just go to www.TeamTorkRealEstate.com.