In the Market for a New Home? 5 Things You Need to Keep in Mind
Buying a home can be exciting, inspiring, and also overwhelming. For first time home buyers in particular, the process can seem daunting. But even for experienced homeowners looking to expand, or simply seeking a fresh start, entering the market for a new home can feel like a huge undertaking.
Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help guide you on your home buying journey. By starting small and working methodically through practical concerns, you will discover that you are able to find exactly the kind of home you are looking for.
In this article, we will walk you through five things you need to keep in mind when beginning to search for your new home.
The first step is to figure out what is most important to you. Why are you moving? Are you part of a growing family, which requires more space? Or do you want to downsize? Are you looking for a more fully equipped kitchen, a backyard, or other amenities?
Make a list of your specific wants and needs, then star the most important items so you have a visual map of your priorities.
Sitting down to discuss which features are most significant in your upcoming search will help to hone your focus, readying you for the many options available. That way, when you do start searching, you will be able to narrow down your choices immediately, with a sharp and clear sense of what it is you are looking for.
2. Lay it all out
Once you have seen to the most important elements in your home search plan, you will want to make sure you have all your other wants and needs mapped out as well.
Create a “master plan” house search chart that lays out as many details as possible. When you are navigating houses on the market, you can cross reference with this chart to find the dream home that most closely matches the requirements you set out beforehand.
Be sure to include both general outlines and details. How many bedrooms will you need? How many bathrooms? What about dining areas, living rooms, and outdoor spaces? Take this opportunity to picture how your items will look in your new home. What kind of lighting will you want? What about natural light and air flow? Do you want a breakfast bar? Space for indoor exercise?
This “master plan” chart should include a comprehensive look at all the possible details you can think of. Be sure to take your time with this chart, adding to it over days and weeks as you prepare to search for your new home. It will serve as a valuable resource to keep you focused on finding a home that most closely matches your ideal.
3. Think Active
When considering whether a prospective home adequately suits your needs, you will want to keep in mind exactly what kinds of things you will be likely to do throughout that space. Think about your habits and routines. What is your usual daily schedule? How will you use your home space?
If you want to set up a great work from home office space, that will affect your prospective home needs. Keep in mind that you will likely require a quiet space that is somewhat isolated from the rest of the house.
Are the kids going to school online? For remote work and school, you will want to make sure that your new home has the best broadband speeds available, so you don’t get interrupted in the middle of important video calls.
Do you need a home gym? With ongoing lockdowns and gym closures, you may want to think creatively about how and where you could transform a space in your new home into a workout zone.
Particularly now, with more people working remotely than ever before, you will want to make sure that the house has amenities that are suitable for your activities.
4. Be Realistic- and Optimistic
Now, as you prepare to find a new home, is the perfect time to take an honest look at your resources. What is your ideal budget? Take note of this, and then make a note of your absolute maximum limit.
You should absolutely be realistic about the resources available to you. But it is also important to keep in mind that you are not just signing a contract for a home for your life now, but also your life as it will be in the future. Sometimes it will be more sensible to pay extra for the home with higher quality and longer-lasting amenities, and it may save you some money in the long run.
Just be sure to take into account a holistic review of the pricing. Besides the initial purchase price, bear in mind that a new home comes with extra costs: insurance, real estate taxes, homeowner fees, home improvements, and maintenance.
If you can afford to pay a higher initial purchase price that has lower monthly fees, it can end up being a smarter long-term investment.
5. Use a Realtor You Trust
Realtors often get a bad reputation. We know they benefit from the sale of a home, receiving a percentage of the cost. Many home buyers are suspicious of realtor’s intentions and fear that they might be swindled.
It is the seller, however, not the buyer, who pays the realtor’s cut of the sale. While a listing agent, who represents the home seller, may not have your interests in mind, you can employ a trustworthy realtor who works on your side.
Finding a realtor you trust can be hugely beneficial: the right realtor will be able to guide you through the entire home buying process. They can help you understand home inspections and ensure that you are being quoted a fair price. Do the research to find a realtor who you know will work for you, and you will have a valuable ally as you navigate the home buying process.
The home buying process is complex and involved. As you begin to wade through the market in search of a home that is right for you, take your time. Be patient.
Searching for a new home means preparing for a long-term commitment- you should never rush. Do your research, seek outside help when you feel unsure, and make sure the home you find truly works for you.