Top 5 House Hunting Considerations
House hunting can be both exciting and confusing at the same time. With so many variables to consider, it is easy to get consumed in the process. Make sure everything runs smoothly with these crucial considerations:
Shop Below your Max Budget:
Even if you can afford it, it’s a good idea to search for homes that fall below the top of your budget. Finding a home you love, below your budget could:
- Save on your monthly mortgage
- Allow you to cover any closing costs
- Provide money for any renovations or projects you may want to do on your new home
- Give you an opportunity to establish an emergency fund
Make a List of Your Needs:
When you are house hunting, it is important to make a list of the things you will truly need out of a home for you and your family. When you are looking for a home, you might tend to think about the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, the location, floor plan, and school system, etc. However, the list you need to consider is:
- Things that you can change easily (Paint colors, curtains, etc.)
- Things that are harder to change and/or costly (Any kitchen/bathroom renovations, floor plans)
- Things you can’t change at all (School systems, neighborhood, and location)
While you are viewing homes, keep this list in mind. If there are more things that you can’t change easily or will cost you more money in the long run then it is best to keep looking.
One of the biggest considerations to make when house hunting is location. While you can change almost anything about the home you’d like, you cannot change the location. If you don’t love the location that the home is in, then you will need to take time to truly weigh the pros and cons. Things to think about location-wise are:
- Is it close enough in proximity to the places you go to regularly?
- Is there a freeway or busy road nearby?
- Is there water around that could lead to flood issues?
Is there a park? Walking trail? It all boils down to what is most important to you in the end! Location can be sacrificed for your dream kitchen, an amazing view, or any other feature that might outweigh where the home is located.
Square Footage/Floor Plans:
Square footage and floor plan are key things you will have to consider whilst house hunting. The size of the home or a floor plan that doesn’t flow could be deal-breakers for you. The ideal things to keep in mind are:
- Are there enough bedrooms/bathrooms to fit your needs?
- Are there stairs? Will that be a hassle in the future?
- Bedroom location is key for families. Having rooms too far away or the master on a different level can be a deal breaker for some.
- Bigger isn’t always better. It’s more costly to keep a larger house warm in the winter, for example. A larger house will also mean more maintenance.
You should always get a home inspection done before buying a home. When you are viewing a home, it can seem as if it is in tip-top shape. However, it could be the exact opposite. A home inspection will give you more insight on things you may have missed while viewing the home before, and it also gives you a chance to understand the real shape the home is in.
Finding the right home can be intimidating. With so many homes to choose from it can be difficult to wrap your head around what you will truly need and want out of a home. As you review listings and begin viewing homes, it is good to follow the above tips to help you navigate the home buying process. Your realtor is also a great tool to use, so be sure to find someone who works well with you.