A Quick Guide to Buying a Home

Source: UNSPLASH
Source: UNSPLASH

Buying a home is very exciting, but you must not allow such overwhelming feeling to cloud your mind in making the right decision. Here are seven tips that can help you find the home of your dreams.

Determine Affordability. Determine how much "buying power" you have. This includes the down-payment requirements, closing costs, monthly mortgage payment, utilities and home maintenance costs. Mortgage lenders can work with you to find a program that can help you obtain financing for a house using other programs that may allow for lower credit scores, higher debt ratios and lower down-payments, and other special financing programs. Once a lender approves you for a particular loan amount, it's most important that you are comfortable with the payment. Keep in mind that owning a home will require utility payments and home maintenance costs above the mortgage payment.

Consider location. Now that you know how much of home you can afford, you are ready to look for a location. Location is very personal. It will depend on how close you will be to your place of employment, family members, local shopping, places of worship, and schools. In today's society where most households have two incomes, time is increasingly more valuable. Spending less time commuting can add quality time back to your life. Once you have narrowed your location to a few choices, you will want to further find out which neighborhoods in those areas have homes within your price range. Now it's time explore those neighborhoods at various times of the day to see if it is a community where you would want to live.

Choose your desired amenities. Once you have a general location chosen and have determined your price range, it's time to make a list of the home features you need and want. It will become important to know which features you consider "must have", versus features that would be "nice to have". It would be ideal to find a home in your preferred location, with all the features you desire, within your price range, available for sale, at the time you are looking to move. Sometime that happens! But sometimes you may find that a home offers only most of the features. Knowing advance will help keep you focused during the excitement of the home search. That list can also be useful while you are touring homes.

Do your search. Some studies have shown that up to 90% of buyers use the internet to find their home. Searching online is exciting and efficient. You can see many photos, virtual tours and find out extensive details about the property. This is also a great way to find out what properties are available in the communities you desire. Through these searches, you can begin to see which neighborhoods offer the features you would like to have and whether or not they are being offered at prices within your range.

Monitor the market. Once you have explored the homes currently on the market, you can monitor new listings to catch them as they become available so that you can be among the first to know of that next great home that will meet your needs. Signing up for "auto-listings" through your Realtor will also help with monitoring the real estate market. You will receive an update each time a home is newly listed that matches your selected location and criteria for the price range of your choice.

“The point of simple living, for me has got to be: A soft place to land, a wide margin of error, room to breathe, lots of places to find baseline happiness in each and every day” ― Leo Babauta

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