Purchasing a home is likely to be one of the largest and most expensive purchases of your life.
To make sure you are making a good choice it helps to have a plan in place to achieve success. A trusted local Realtor can help guide you step by step through the home buying process. Having a comprehensive view of the real estate market and how transactions work will be a great asset in your steps towards homeownership. Let’s go through the steps of formulating a home purchase plan:
- Decide you want to buy a home. This seems obvious or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. But many times a buyer gets excited about the prospect of owning a home without ever considering the steps to get there or how owning a home can change their lives. Without a doubt owning your own home is one of the greatest avenues to generating wealth. The appreciation in the value of the home and pride of ownership one feels in a home both greatly contribute to overall happiness and well being. With owning a home it is important to consider whether you plan to stay in the area long term. Are you able to keep up with the maintenance of a home. And is a single family home right for you? Have you considered a townhome or condo?
- Get pre-qualified! This is by far the number one thing to do. You can’t know how much home you can afford or what type of loans you qualify for without talking to a lender. DO THIS FIRST! Without getting pre-qualified you are putting the cart before the horse. Realtors are able to refer you to knowledgeable and experienced lenders or you can reach out to your bank to get started.
- Location, Location, Location. Start by deciding which area of town you want to live in. Is it close to work or school? Are lifestyle amenities such as beaches or boating access important? Drive around different areas, even if you have lived in the city for years. You will have a different lens looking at the houses and neighborhoods when you are considering living there. With so many home search apps on phones these days you can get an idea of home prices as you drive around as well.
- Know what you want in a house. Is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home a minimum? Do you need a fenced yard for a dog? There are so many different things a home buyer could want that you need to be specific about what you are looking for. Sometimes you aren’t sure about the designs and features of a home until you walk through a few, but you need to know the basics of what you are interested in. Some of the basics are bed/bath count, square footage, garages, lot size, updated or not, age of home etc.
- Find a good Realtor. Your Realtor is your trusted advisor to rely on. They will help manage and guide you through every step of the process. They help you avoid pitfalls and overcome obstacles to achieve your home purchase goal.
Taking the necessary steps ahead of time will limit the headache of a home search. Be sure to enter one of the biggest decisions of your life with a plan!