- #1 - Know yourself
- #2 - Be realistic
- #3 - Get your finances in order
- #4 - Work with an agent
- #5 - Research before you jump in
- #6 - Think long-term
- #7 - Set a moving timeline
- #8 - Limit the options you solicit
When you go shopping for something, you usually have a plan ready: you know your prices and you know the worth of the item you want, so you won’t pay more than you should.
House-hunting is very much the same as shopping for an item you want: if you have a solid game plan and you know the market, the journey will be so much easier and you will be able to zoom in on the house with the best price.
Here are eight tips to guide you through the home-buying process:
#1 – Know yourself
You need to know your personality type so that you can find a home that will suit it.
Ask yourself whether you prefer a new or existing home.
Consider how you would feel regarding a fixer-upper versus a well-maintained home. These aspects can make all the difference when it comes to pricing and choosing the best property on the market.
#2 – Be realistic
It is totally fine to be picky about the house and the neighborhood you want to live in. It is, after all, your money and your living conditions.
What you shouldn’t be, is closed-minded. Think about the realistic results you will get from your expectations. If you really insist on living in a cul-de-sac, you might miss out on great homes on streets that are just as quiet.
On the other side, don’t be so impressed by a certain feature in a house that you forget about other factors, such as possible noise levels.
Consider the holistic picture before making the decision.
#3 – Get your finances in order
This is very important and cannot be stressed enough: create a budget to determine how much you are comfortable spending on a mortgage per month.
Submit all necessary documents early enough in order to get prequalified. This will save a lot of time.
#4 – Work with an agent
Finding a trustworthy agent can be tricky and time-consuming.
Ask friends or family members for referrals and interview agents before you decide to work with them.
Home-buying can be very emotional; will the agent’s personality and style clash with yours?
#5 – Research before you jump in
Remember that saying, “walk before you can run”?
You need to research before you jump into the first house you see.
Identify the neighborhoods you wouldn’t mind living in and consider the time you would have to spend commuting to work or school.
List the features that you need in a home and those you would like to have. It will narrow down your choices even more.
#6 – Think long-term
Consider your future plans: Are you planning on spending the next 20 years in that home? Are you planning on starting a family?
Be sure to plan in such a way that the house meets your expectations.
#7 – Set a moving timeline
Decide by when you want to sell your old house and move into the new one.
If you are renting, check to see when your lease expires.
Do you have debt you need to settle? Make a date to pay that off as soon as possible.
Timelines will encourage you to take action.
#8 – Limit the options you solicit
You know what they say about having too many cooks in the kitchen.
Be careful who you ask second opinions from. Select one or two people that you trust and compare their advice to your agent’s advice.
Remember to remain true to your list of needs and wants.
No one else is going to stay in that house except for you and at the end of the day, you need to be satisfied with it.