Buying a home is a huge accomplishment and even a milestone in life! You’re about to make a huge decision, which can get overwhelming at times. The team at Solar Art has come up with a 3 step plan to help you based on some of our own experiences in buying homes and navigating the real estate market!
The best first step you can take is to honestly assess what you can afford before you start looking. Keep a clear vision in mind of what “affordable” looks like in different areas. Analyze your budget, factor for other expenses or income changes down the road, and budget accordingly. If you’re selling, try to get the most out of your current home. You can use a mortgage calculator to help you easily figure out exactly what your budget is for your new home!
Start looking at homes ahead of time. Don’t rely on just one website for your search--in our virtual age, information is everywhere. You can also look at paper advertisements and weekly real estate ads if possible. Talk to agents to find out more about the areas you’re looking at.
Getting pre-approved before you even see any properties is also good idea. Let them know you are serious and bank against financial surprises. Knowing your own finances inside and out is the best way to avoid drama and stress.
Take your time and be honest with your agent about what you’re looking for. Work with someone experienced and let them know how you feel about the homes you’re seeing.
Start from the low end of your price range so you bar against falling in love with a home you can’t afford. Keep in mind that a bigger, nicer, and more beautiful home will always come along. Don’t forget that a more expensive home will cost you much more than the raw numbers now, due to interest.
No matter how amazing property photos may look, you don’t really know what you’re looking at until you see the properties for yourself. Look at a lot of homes, to familiarize yourself with the market and know what you’re getting.
Where you choose to live is as important as the house itself. Is the home in a good neighborhood? Is it safe, especially at night? Look at the neighborhood’s demographic: if you’re a young parent, you may want to favor neighborhoods with other parents. How close would you be to important features, and are they easy to get to? Only you can answer those questions, but keep them in mind while looking.
Making a wish list of what you are looking for in your new home is extremely important. Whether it's a garage, laundry room pool, etc. it's smart to see what you can and cannot compromise on and what will work with your budget.
Take careful note of the home's structure. Things like paint and decor are cosmetic fixes; a house’s structure will tell you more about how long it will last. Does the house have good bones? Is the floor plan sensible and modern? Will the home’s features need serious updates in the next ten years? Investigate the house’s history and have it independently assessed for potential problems.
The final consideration is a long-term one: do you feel comfortable in the house? Can you envision your family living there for years to come? Does it give you something your current home doesn’t? Your new home should fit your family’s needs, and your gut instinct on how you feel in it shouldn’t be ignored.
Buying a home is a big decision, whether you’re a property newbie or a seasoned veteran. They are huge investments, so taking the time to get to know the market and know what you can afford while also keeping in mind trouble spots and superficial issues, will set you on the right path to buying a house to call home for years to come. The team here at Solar Art hopes this 3 step plan will help you in your decision!
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