Once you know how much money you can borrow and have an estimate of your closing costs, you’ll know the price range you can afford! You might already have a home in mind. Perhaps you want to settle down in a particular neighborhood, or maybe you just need more space for your growing family.
Even if you know exactly what you’re looking for, searching for a home can be overwhelming. It takes time. Being realistic and disciplined while house hunting will help ensure that you will buy a home that you love and can afford.
The First Step – A Reality Check
It’s always fun to look at houses. This part of the process is very exciting, but don’t let it rule the house-hunting process. Remember to:
- Stick within your budget.
- Don’t let your heart rule your head.
- Be flexible.
- Compare what you’d like to have with what you really need.
- Look at the full cost of the house when making your decision.
The Second Step – Establish Your Criteria
You know your budget. Now it’s time to look at what your needs are in a new home. Looking for a home takes time, so focus on what’s important to you. After looking at lots of homes, the line between “I need a garage” and “I want a garage” can get blurry.
Many people focus on what they’d like to have instead of focusing on what they actually need. Knowing the difference can make all the difference.
Ultimately, you should be able to find a home that is a blend of your needs and wants. To help keep your priorities in order, make a wish list and a must-have list, and take them with you whenever you look at a house. Have each member of your family make their own list, and you may be surprised at what your whole family decides is a want versus a need.
The Third Step – Choosing a Neighborhood
When you can tell the difference between your housing wants and needs, you’ll probably have an easier time deciding what you want and need from a neighborhood. Where you live is as important as the house you live in.
You may already have a good idea about what neighborhoods you like. Don’t necessarily let that keep you from looking in other neighborhoods. Consider giving other areas a chance, as you might find the house you were always looking for – there.
The neighborhood a house is in can also impact your budget. Knowing the costs associated with particular neighborhood and communities is important. For example, what are the property taxes and homeowners’ association fees?
Ask yourself these questions about neighborhoods
- How’s the commute?
- How far will you be from your extended family?
- How far will you be from activities your family likes to participate in?
- Are there any homeowners’ association fees?
- Are there any homeowners’ association rules or restrictions?
- What are the schools and other public services like? How close are they?
- Is it an older, established neighborhood or a younger, still growing community?
- What are the values of other homes in the neighborhood?
- Are there nearby restaurants and other business you patronize?
- What’s the traffic like during the week? In the evenings? On weekends?
- Are there mass-transit options?
If you like the neighborhood, talk to people who live there. They’ll be the most knowledgeable about the area and may be your future neighbors!
Now that you know your budget, your wants and needs, and the neighborhoods your ready to shop in, search for homes here! Or Contact Us! SampronSisters.com (Your Westridge Knolls Neighbor – Your Highlands Ranch REALTORS®)