Buying a home can be an exciting and stressful time. Since this is such a big purchase, it’s imperative you chose wisely in order to find the best house for you for years to come. Here are a few steps to follow in order to find and purchase your dream home.
Be prepared as soon as possible
It’s important that you get pre-qualified and pre-approved, before shopping around for your home. This will help you understand the process of home buying. Another advantage is that you will become aware of the documents you will need. It’s a smart idea to take a close look at your finances before beginning the whole process. Specifically, get your income range, know your FICO score, and your monthly expenses. Map out how much your payments will be each month, as well. This will help you determine how much you can put down on a house and what kind of mortgage you might need. Remember to think realistically. Different programs can benefit different financial situations and your loan officer will be able to tell you which one can save you the most money. Be sure to shop around for a lender. Common websites like LendingTree can get you in touch with the right people and help you find the lowest interest rate. With your approved loan amount and finances sorted, you are ready to start the hunt for your dream home.
Make a List
Making a list will come in handy down the line. Your list needs to be completed before you find a realtor so you will be able to ask questions when you first speak. These questions are important to ask yourself:
- Suburban, Urban, or Rural?
- Close to schools?
- Do you want a view? If so what kind of view?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
- One or two stories?
- Is a town-home or condo okay?
- What about a historic house?
- Easy access to highway?
- Are there specific architecture styles that you are looking for?
- Do you want a garage or is street parking enough?
- Are you willing to do extra renovation?
- How important is walk-ability?
- Is a backyard important?
Now that you have made a list, sort it into three sections: Must have, like to have, and don’t care too much about. If you would like to look around at houses before finding a realtor, you can use Zillow which is a popular home listing site.
Shopping around for a lender isn’t the only research you will need to do. Shop around for both a realtor and a home, too. This will give you the most options to chose from, and you will be more confident in your decision. Start by interviewing several local realtors. It’s important to ask about their availability, because ideally, you would like them to have the same availability as you. This will make it easy for you to see as many homes as possible. Explore a lot of different neighborhoods and keep an open mind.
Planning out the home buying process as much as possible can help you find exactly what you are looking for. You will be pleased to know your dream home was, in fact, out there after all.